Washingtonpost.com:

Top Republicans joined with President Obama and other Democrats Tuesday in sharply condemning Donald Trump’s reaction to the nightclub massacre in Orlando, decrying his anti-Muslim rhetoric and his questioning of Obama’s allegiances as divisive and out of step with America’s values.

Trump — who just a week ago signaled an intent to snap his campaign into a more measured tone for the general election — showed no sign of backing down from his suggestions that Obama was somehow connected to or sympathetic with terrorists, telling the Associated Press that the president “continues to prioritize our enemy” over Americans.

In separate appearances, both Obama and his potential successor, likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, blasted Trump’s proposal to ban foreign Muslims from the United States as dangerous and contrary to the nation’s traditions.

A visibly angry Obama also dismissed Trump’s repeated demands for him to use the term “radical Islam” when speaking about the Orlando shootings and other attacks. “Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away,” Obama said. “This is a political distraction.”

Clinton described Trump’s response to Orlando as rife with “conspiracy theories” and “pathological self-congratulations.”

The remarkably bipartisan outcry over Trump’s positions — coming at a moment of national mourning after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history — set off a new wave of alarm within the GOP over whether the mogul’s promised pivot to the general election would ever materialize. The rift also highlighted the enduring tensions between establishment figures who want to be more inclusive and the bulk of the party, which backs Trump’s proposed Muslim ban and has rallied around him as the presumptive nominee.

Some of Trump’s most ardent backers defended his response to the Orlando attack, saying drastic measures were needed to keep the nation safe. But most Republicans on Capitol Hill tried to distance themselves from Trump’s comments following the terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed at least 49 people. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) refused to respond to questions about Trump at his weekly news conference.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) denounced Trump for trying to rally support for his anti-Muslim policies, while others castigated Trump for the accusations he has lobbed at Obama.

It’s about time.  More and more of our elected officials will hopefully renounce Trump’s irresponsible behavior and will distance themselves from him.  Hopefully the PW County BOCS Chairman will join this chorus  of renunciations.

Trump’s pathological, continued presentation of “facts” that are simply erroneous also has many in leadership roles concerned.  Further comments are:

“Traditionally, it is a time when people rally around our country, and it’s obviously not what’s occurred, and it’s very disappointing,” Corker said.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a leading national security hawk, said he had “run out of adjectives” for Trump. “I don’t think he has the judgment or the temperament, the experience to deal with what we are facing,” said Graham, who does not currently support the mogul.

Trump has not yet been officially declared the Republican candidate.  Much can happen between now and the election.  Something needs to happen to salvage the GOP from this destructive course.

 

38 thoughts on “Top Republicans denounce Trump

  1. Lyssa

    Those that know Paul Ryan (Wisconsin people) say he’s really a decent and fair man regardless of any political differences. I really hope they step up and lead – it will make his defenders look silly.

    If word choice matters (radical Islam) then Trumps words matter as well.

  2. Kelly_3406

    Let’s take Islam out of the equation for a moment. Suppose there is an identifiable group in which 10% of those wanting to immigrate to the US either actively supports or is sympathetic to terrorist attacks against US citizens. And there is no way to differentiate between the 90% of the group without terrorist leanings and the 10% that does support terrorism. Do the blog regulars think that a group in which 10% of its members want to kill US citizens should be allowed to immigrate to the US? Is it really in the best interest of the US to let such people in if they cannot be vetted?

    1. Where does the 10% figure come from?

      People can also denounce their religion and give it up for the good of the cause. Then what happens?

      What do we do with people like Timothy McVey? That freak of nature was already here. How many people were killed in that incident? He was supposedly Christian and an American.

      This recent shooter was an American.

      1. Kelly_3406

        @MoonHowler

        You did not answer the question. You have adopted Ali’s rope-a-dope.

        The shooter’s father is a Taliban sympathizer who should never have been let into the country–the hate most likely began at home. This case is eerily similar to the Boston marathon bombing in which terrorist acts were carried out by two American sons, but the immigrant mother was clearly a radical Islamist.

        You are correct that we already have killers like McVeigh in our midst. We should strive not to import more.

      2. So blame Reagan. He came in under the Reagan administration. How do you know he supports the Taliban? He doesn’t support ISIS or at least that is what he said.

        I don’t recall being asked anything. Please repeat.

      3. Kelly_3406

        @MoonHowler

        Please see the last two sentences of comment #2 for the questions.

    1. What do you expect out of the NY Post?

      A tantrum? Surely you are kidding me. The man was deadly serious.

    2. Scout

      @Kelly-3406

      Obviously, Kelly, neither you nor the New York Post saw the President’s speech. It was stunningly cold and steely. Nothing tantrum-like about it at all. He clearly was addressing behaviors by Trump and others that degrade national security and increase risk for Americans. This isn’t the kind of subject about which a leader yells, screams, and holds his breath until he turns blue. This is dead serious stuff that needs to be repeated until people like Trump get a grip and realize that this is nothing to be playing political games about.

      1. 1+

        I completely agree with Scout.

      2. Kelly_3406

        @Scout

        Ah … but you would be mistaken. I did see his speech and was thoroughly unimpressed. The president was preachy, condescending, and hot-under-the-collar. His attitude seemed to be one of indignation that his policies were being challenged.

        I have had the great honor and privilege of working for some of the finest leaders in the US. Invariably, such leaders have the innate ability to communicate to both allies and opponents in a way that is respectful and unifying. Obama speaks in a way that creates hostility in his opponents. His speech may have communicated to you–but it completely turned me off.

        CIA Director Brennan admitted today that US strategy had done nothing to reduce the ‘terrorism capability and global reach’ of ISIS and that the group was exploring methods ‘of infiltrating operatives to the west including refugee flows, smuggling routes, and legitimate methods of travel.’ That undercuts much of what Obama said yesterday.

        Only a demagogue like Obama could overlook his own policy failures in Syria, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere and still think that he has the moral authority to call out Trump.

        I have my own problems with Trump. But at least he is coming up with ideas beyond the tired, old, politically correct policies that have failed to weaken ISIS.

      3. I am curious how you view the policies that were in place th day before Obama took office.

        I certainly hope he was angry. I thought he was cold, calculating and direct. Nothing wrong with that.

        As for his status in the world, I would say the office of the president took on much more status the day he took office.

      4. Kelly_3406

        @MoonHowler

        I care not at all about status — only results.

        When Obama took office, Iraq was quiet, had control of its territory and allowed American troops in country to keep the peace. Afghanistan was in good shape, Libya had a stable government, Iran was under economic sanctions, Al Qaeda was contained, and ISIS did not exist.

        None of this is true after 7 1/2 years of Obama.

      5. You must not listen to the same news I listen to. I have not heard of a day Iraq was quiet or had control of its territory. Afghanistan is and has been a hell hole. Libya was controlled by a cruel dictator who uses members of his own family as human shields….

      6. Scout

        @Kelly_3406

        Yes – Trump has certainly come up with “ideas”. Like alienating the Muslim-American citizens we depend on for so many aspects of the fight against international terrorism, like killing families of ISIL fighters, like a ban not just on Muslim immigration, but also (in its first iteration) even the return of American citizens of a certain religion to the US after trips abroad, like police surveillance of places of worship. To be sure, Trump’s ideas were dangerous to our security only by a matter degree over some of the wacky ideas of Cruz, but Trump is the putative nominee, and the very fact that he says some of this stuff (I doubt that there’s any chance at all that, even if elected, he could implement it) rightly causes grave harm to the United States at home and abroad.

        Any President, as Commander-in-Chief, and as the elected leader responsible for the security of the citizenry would have not just a right, but also an obligation, to put this kind of lunacy in its place and to show anger in doing so. Any previous President going back at least to FDR would have reacted exactly the same way. But Obama’s anger in his remarks was a cool, controlled anger, hardly “tantrum”-like, as you and the NY Post contend, Kelly.

      7. Kelly_3406

        @Scout

        Trump has said many crazy things in the past, but they never really merited a direct response from Obama before. What most likely got Obama’s goat was the contention that Obama’s policies have put Americans at risk. Trump effectively changed the terms of the debate, which has put Obama on the defensive. Obama could not let that stand, which was the reason for the anger and condescension.

      8. I don’t think anyone else on this blog saw condescension or out of control anger.

  3. Kelly_3406

    The 10% number may actually be somewhat conservative. According to a Pew research study, 75% of citizens in Middle Eastern countries reject terrorism. The global average of Muslims that support violence against civilians is 12%. Supporters of violence varies from 7% in Iraq to 40% in the Palestinian Territories. The number in Afghanistan is 39% — more than one in three.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-overview/

    1. I would be skeptical of any polling numbers and statistics gathered from the middle eastern countries.

      I guess I am just not getting your point.

      Who would I rather have kill me…Timothy McVey or some American muslim? I don’t really care. None of the above?

      1. Kelly_3406

        @MoonHowler

        The point is that we already have plenty of natural-born killers in America. Why would we want to import even more?

  4. Lyssa

    I think it’s the same arguments as guns. Those that want to get here/one will regardless of lImitations placed. One is ardently defended as a “right” (interpretation) without limits and the other is a principle our founding fathers established with some, albeit not enough, limits. So I don’t think limiting immigration will solve the problem any more than limiting guns sales. People intent on harm will find a way.

    Further, people are recruited from overeas; we have more domestic terrorism. So let’s start with no guns for those on terrorist no fly lists and frankly I’d prefer to see a slowdown on ALL immigration and thoroughly scrub the process.

    1. Sort of sounds like comprehensive immigration reform to me.

      I agree that all rights have limitations. The 2nd amendment should not be the exception.
      Not letting terrorists or suspected terrorists buy guns seems like a good place to start.

  5. Starryflights

    I am glad Ryan did that. About bloody time too

  6. middleman

    Using Kelly ‘s logic, I suggest we ban Trump from entering the country the next time he leaves. He did, after all, promote violence against civilians- the families of terrorists.

    1. Kelly406

      @middleman

      Obama probably has already put Trump on the “no-fly” list.

  7. punchak

    Give me cool, controlled anger any day.
    That shows that a person can control his temper and,
    at the same time, express his deep feelings.
    Obama’s speech was far from a tantrum.

    1. Totally agree, Punchak.
      I think he was expressing his anger calmly and coolly, almost steel cold.
      Actually, he has been criticized for not showing more anger.
      I think Kelly would criticize him for whatever he did.

      1. Kelly_3406

        @MoonHowler

        I have praised Obama a couple of times. For instance, the surge in Afghanistan was a good move strategically and I said so.

        Obama could earn my praise by creating a strategy to defeat ISiS that includes all the national elements of power — economic, diplomatic and military. He should clamp down on immigration from the Middle East (or all immigration if he so chooses) and on illegal immigration across our southern and northern borders, establish sanctions against any country that does business with ISIS, and develop a lethal military strategy to wipe out ISIS in its safe havens of Syria, Iraq, and Libya. This would most likely require a larger footprint of deployed troops. He also needs to create an FBI task force with sufficient manpower to follow-up on leads related to potential terrorists inside the US such as the gun shop that reported suspicious requests from a person that turned out to be the Orlando jihadist.

        If Obama did all or most of these things, you would see me praise him.

      2. Who pays for it? How do you make these moves without a cooperative congress?

      3. Kelly_3406

        @MoonHowler

        In the wake of Orlando, I think Congress is itching to do something. A strategy like this could have broad bi-partisan support IMO. If there is pushback, it is more likely to come from the D’s than the R’s.

        From a political standpoint, it would be a good way to undermine Trump’s rhetoric on immigration.

  8. Scout

    If Congress were “itching” to do something about Syria, they would have long ago passed an authorization for use of military force there. They have resisted that, much to their shame. They want to carp about what’s being done in the MIdEast without taking any responsibility for it.

    I doubt Kelly would find much support from within our military for his extremely ambitious and aggressive program against ISIS. This would essentially be a general war at a time when our inventories and manpower are depleted and our defense budget is under intense stress. We appear to have a strategy of gradually wearing down ISIS on the ground, primarily by use of indigenous forces, in Iraq and Syria and that strategy appears to be working. In terms of national security priorities, a rational case can be made that ISIS is not the major threat facing the United States now and that even if we eventually succeed militarily on the current path, we will still have the kinds of self-actuating terrorist attacks that we saw in Orlando or the more directed/concerted operations by small cells that the French and Belgians have experienced. The US has bigger fish to fry with a revanchist Russia poised to move on the Baltics and/or Ukraine and a hair-trigger situation coiling up with China in the South China Sea. We are not well prepared for those situations. We have a lot of catching up to do. The price of Kelly’s fixation on Syria and ISIS would pin us down militarily and budgetarily in ways that would frustrate efforts to improve our readiness in these other areas.

    1. Kelly_3406

      @Scout

      In case you have forgotten, some of the nation’s top generals including Gen Dempsey and Gen Keane were open to a deployment in 2014 on the scale of 20,000 to 30,000 troops. Obama chose to ignore their advice. Little has changed since then except the body count and the growing magnitude of the threat.

      Most of the people that I have worked with in the Pentagon would disagree with your assertion that the current strategy is working.

      It is true that Russia and China loom large as strategic threats. But it is ISIS that is putting Americans in body bags, so it would be wise to handle ISIS before it evolves into a bigger problem.

      1. Since I have been alive, the Pentagon has been Monday-Morning quarterbacking, has it not?

        You are asking for people to be clairvoyant. I am trying to think of a leader during war time that HAS gotten it right. I can’t think of a single one.

      2. Kelly_3406

        @MoonHowler

        It is very easy to Monday-morning quarterback when advice from our top generals was not taken and the concerns that they raised at the time have materialized.

        However, that was not my point. My point is that the military would definitely be open to more ground troops, contrary to Scout’s assertion. The military would wisely be against a large-scale 150,000-troop deployment, but that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about something much smaller — on the order of 30,000 troops.

        You are absolutely correct that no leader always (or maybe even mostly) has the right strategy. It took Lincoln at least three tries to get the strategy right in the Civil War. And even if a given strategy is effective initially, it may become ineffective as the enemy adjusts.

        That’s why it is important to have an open and honest discussion. It is clear that our present strategy for countering ISIS is flawed. Obama’s insistence that he has the right strategy has to be more closely related to politics than to the facts.

        A good leader should always be willing to take a cold, dispassionate look at his strategy and make adjustments when necessary. For the most part, Obama does not seem willing to do that.

  9. DB

    Any administration can do only so much. And no administrator has all the perfect answers. We live in a complicated world, especially in the US which has always been a young, yet not so much homogeneous society, despite how the history romantics would like to portray us. From the early years our country has been awash with indigenous haters, anti women’s rights, anti minority rights, slavery, indentured servants, tenaments, child labor etc. That is who we were and a bit where we remain still. There will always be discontent. And we should worry less about “out there” and focus more on those here. To hear Trump suggest “racial profiling” as a good thing broke my brain since here we are as a country trying to NOT racially profile. We are trying to figure things out as a country and Trump wants WW III? With whom? He has no clue. Yes, he has “people who work for me”, but he has no clue.

    1. Hi DB. Haven’t seen you in forever. Welcome back.

  10. Scout

    @Kelly – we’re clearly talking to different people in the military and there’s no way for you or me to know what the “official” view is from the JCS. However, I know for certain that there’s a very strong current of opinion within DOD, one that seems wholly rational to me, that ISIS on the ground in Iraq and Syria is a problem, but not an existential threat, and is not worth getting us sucked into a general engagement at a time when we are stretched so thin, particularly on personnel and equipment, and have two major power threats for which we have to be preparing. The threat posed by ISIS won’t go away when Raqqa falls. It’s an ideological, propaganda threat that we will be dealing with for some time on the internet and in the dark and tedious world of intelligence and counter-terrorism. It’s our “Pottery Barn” world predicted by General Powell.

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