Susan Collins Joins Other Republicans In Opposing Trump, But What Took So Long?
More Republican officeholders are distancing themselves from Donald Trump, but it's time to start wondering what took them so long,
Senator Susan Collins of Maine is the latest Republican office holder announcing that they cannot support Donald Trump:
Sen. Susan Collins joined the growing list of Republicans who say they aren’t supporting Donald Trump in the general election.
“Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country,” she wrote in a piece for The Washington Post.
The senior senator from Maine lists three major incidents as explanations for why she can’t support Trump: She cited Trump mocking a reporter with disabilities, his comments that an Indiana-born judge of Mexican heritage is biased against him and his attacks against the parents of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention, as reasons she will buck her party’s nominee.
“My conclusion about Mr. Trump’s unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics. Instead, he opts to mock the vulnerable and inflame prejudices by attacking ethnic and religious minorities,” she wrote.
She expressed concern about Trump’s potential effect on American foreign policy, saying, “His lack of self-restraint and his barrage of ill-informed comments would make an already perilous world even more so.” She criticized Trump’s lack of commitment to America’s allies on the same day 50 GOP security officials signed a letter that said Trump is a risk to “our country’s national security.”
Collins wrote that she hoped the Republican nominee would “tone down his rhetoric” for the general election and apologize for past oversteps, but said: “The unpleasant reality that I have had to accept is that there will be no ‘new’ Donald Trump, just the same candidate who will slash and burn and trample anything and anyone he perceives as being in his way or an easy scapegoat.”
I will not be voting for Donald Trump for president. This is not a decision I make lightly, for I am a lifelong Republican. But Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country.
When the primary season started, it soon became apparent that, much like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mr. Trump was connecting with many Americans who felt that their voices were not being heard in Washington and who were tired of political correctness. But rejecting the conventions of political correctness is different from showing complete disregard for common decency. Mr. Trump did not stop with shedding the stilted campaign dialogue that often frustrates voters. Instead, he opted for a constant stream of denigrating comments, including demeaning Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) heroic military service and repeatedly insulting Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
With the passage of time, I have become increasingly dismayed by his constant stream of cruel comments and his inability to admit error or apologize. But it was his attacks directed at people who could not respond on an equal footing — either because they do not share his power or stature or because professional responsibility precluded them from engaging at such a level — that revealed Mr. Trump as unworthy of being our president.
My conclusion about Mr. Trump’s unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics. Instead, he opts to mock the vulnerable and inflame prejudices by attacking ethnic and religious minorities.
Collins cites three of the most vitriolic of Trump’s public comments as the reasons behind her decision. The first up was when Trump openly mocked and made fun of a reporter with physical disabilities who had pushed back against Trump’s claims that he saw thousands of Muslims in the United States celebrating the collapse of the Twin Towers in the wake of the September 11th attacks. The second came more recently when Trump attacked the ethnicity of the Judge presiding over the multiple fraud claims involving Trump University. And, not surprisingly, the final straw for Collins, as it seemingly has been for so many others, was Trump’s attack on the Gold Star parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in Iraq defending his fellow soldiers. One complaint about this, of course, is that the last two incidents, which occurred at or near the time Trump became the nominee, were hardly the first time that Trump had said or done something outrageous. It was on the day he launched his campaign, for example, Trump made comments about Mexicans that were widely denounced but did nothing to stop his rise in a polls. A few weeks after that, Trump launched an attack on John McCain and his record of service. By the next month, he was attacking Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina, and other women who had been critical of him using insults that many took to be incredibly sexist. He attacked political opponents like Ben Carson not on the basis of policy, but on a deeply personal and vicious manner. Finally, of course, Trump has reserved some of his worst insults and prejudice for Muslims, including a ban on Muslim immigration to the United States. Given all of that, how can Collins and other Republicans say that they are so shocked by similar comments made in the past two months? Like many other Republicans, Collins has been well aware of just what kind of person Donald Trump is, and what kind of candidate he is, from the start, and they sat back, said nothing, and let him take over the Republican Party It’s kind of hard to feel sorry for them now.
Collins has said that she also would not support Hillary Clinton, but she doesn’t say what she will do on Election Day a of yet. In any case, this makes Collins the eighth Republican Senator to say that they will not support Trump in the fall. The others are Ted Cruz (TX), Jeff Flake (AZ), Lindsey Graham (SC), Dean Heller (NV), Mark Kirk (IL), Mike Lee (UT) and Ben Sasse (NE). Beyond this list, there are several more Senators who have expressed what can be described as at best tepid support, or who have issued bland statements stating that they will support the party nominee but don’t intend to campaign with him. Indeed, with the exception of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions and the handful of Members of Congress who have formally endorsed him, most of the Republicans on Capitol Hill who have gotten behind Trump have been very quiet in their support. It’s only been very recently, though, that we’ve seen officeholders becoming more vocal in their opposition, In addition to Collins, we’ve seen Congressman Richard Hanna of New York, who is not running for re-election, endorse Hillary Clinton while outgoing Congressman Scott Rigell of Virginia has announced that he will be supporting the Libertarian ticket of Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.
With the poll numbers getting worse by the day, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing candidates for office and officeholders distancing themselves from Trump. This includes not just people who are running for re-election in 2016, but also those who may been looking ahead to re-election bids in the future like Collins, who will be up for re-election in 2020 unless she decides to run for Governor of Maine in 2018. At some point, after the full impact of the Trump candidacy on the Republican Party has been made clear and the seemingly post-election civil war long over, many people who are prominent in the GOP today will find themselves having to answer for where they stood while Trump and his supporters took control of the party. No doubt, Collins and other anti-Trump Republicans believe it’s in their interest to be publicly on the record as opposed to the idea of putting Donald Trump in the Oval Office, even if it means Hillary Clinton becomes President.
What took them so long? I think some may have been hoping for a post-convention “pivot.” Others may have hoped Trump would drop out once he got the prize. I thought the latter was a possibility, but that seems less and less likely now.
Because it wasn’t clear it was going to be a rout…
Trump is the anti-Skynet: Though he is capable of inflicting tremendous damage, he has never been self-aware.
I am all in your notion.
It – strong intra-party opposition to Trump – is now owing completely to debacle that was Trump’s post RNC period. His usual impulsive remarks were bad enough, however the fact that he kept doubling down on his mistakes while plummeting in the polls probably made it clear to many Republicans that they’re now free, if not obligated, to criticize Trump.
I would cut some slack, it is not easy to take a decision to go against a party apparatus and it’s not inherently unreasonable for persons like this centrist to ‘wait’ to see if the problem might not resolve itself. Now that self-resolution (i.e. flake-out / drop-out) is not in the cards and one is in the real danger zone, I think the judgment about who steps up becomes more reasonable.
Earlier, if one lays aside partisan political analysis, it’s not unreasonable to wait.
You think the GOP is just going to snap back to the party of GHW Bush and James Baker? Or even Mitt Romney, which it never even was? LOL. A majority of republicans support Trump. christian sleazeballs, rush limbaugh, etc. Trump is not an outsider briefly hijacking the party–he’s the momentary apotheosis of angry dumb white people. And angry dumb white people are not having a brief dalliance with the GOP. They’ve taken charge of the bus.
What took them so long?
Cowardice, opportunism, the fact that they actually share many of Trump’s beliefs, etc. Take your pick, or mix ‘n match.
And of course, now that it’s increasingly clear Trump is going to lose, there’s probably a perfectly reasonable desire to distance one’s self as far as possible from the loser.
Establishment Republicans have generally been faithful to the 11th commandment. (“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”) The impact that Trump has had on fundraising has been a disaster, so now they have to do something.
Until now, the establishment GOP has either used discrimination to its advantage (“states rights”, Willie Horton, “voter fraud’, etc.) or else ignored it. That approach is going to become increasingly difficult as corporate donors become more proactive about inclusion.
For example, there will be increasing pressure on businesses that actively tout LGBT rights to not associate themselves with political efforts that run contrary to those rights, and they will be motivated to protect their brands. The GOP won’t be able to offer a single message that both pleases the base and that doesn’t scare off their donors. Since money talks, you can guess whose voices will be more important.
I see 538 shows Hillary up 12% in Maine, so we’re not exactly talking profiles in courage here.
And @Argon: wins the intertubes.
wow, not that susan collins- from maine no less?! the ship is sunk now……why bother going on?
hey, anyone see that speech hillary gave lsst week where she said she’s going to raise taxes on the middle class?! the funny thing is the crowd, albeit small, actually cheered. i assume they aren’t middle class or were responding to the “cheer” lights.
@bill: hey, anyone see that speech hillary gave lsst week where she said she’s going to raise taxes on the middle class?! the funny thing is the crowd, albeit small, actually cheered. i assume they aren’t middle class or were responding to the “cheer” lights.
This has already been busted as hoax by Snopes:
Fact-checking site Snopes.com reported Thursday how her words were depicted at an Omaha stop:
“Because while Warren [Buffett] is standing up for a fairer tax code, Trump wants to cut taxes for the super-rich. Well, we’re not going there, my friends. I’m telling you, right now — we’re going to write fairer rules for the middle class and we are going to raise taxes on the middle class!”
Snopes said: “Given the context of her statement and the audience’s positive reaction to it, it appears that Clinton actually said ‘we aren’t going to raise taxes on the middle class,’ but either she didn’t fully enunciate the ending of the word ‘aren’t’ or the word didn’t come through clearly on the audio recording (or both).”
@bill: Because that’s not what she said, silly boy. Go read the analysis.
But continue waving around that red rag. Maybe you’ll get another Fox News addict to believe it.
Profiles in Pragmatism might be more accurate. There is absolutely no chance that Trump will win any New England state, nor New York state, nor Pennsylvania, nor New Jersey.
@al-Alameda: I think they were hoping for a meteor strike.
@CSK: I bet a lot of republicans thought “he’s just playing batsh*t for the primary voters and once he gets further down the road, he’ll pivot over to playing for the general election.”
Now they realize “My God, he really IS a wacko, isn’t he?”
She didn’t say that.
Why is it that you and Jenos and JKB and Guarneri always have to lie in order to make your argument?
Has it occurred to you that if you have to make shit up in order to make your point…then your point is actually meaningless?
Why waste your time typing meaningless drivel?
At least it wasn’t abject racism…which is a vast improvement for you.
You’re a lying POS…
What took so long?
I think a lot of Republicans were still concerned that lashing out at Trump would infuriate the base and they’d end up getting primaried next time around. They’ve finally figured out that not only is that not as much of a risk as they thought, distancing themselves will likely net out positive for them.
Oh, and this: “Collins has said that she also would not support Hillary Clinton, but she doesn’t say what she will do on Election Day a[s] of yet.”
Yeah, I think a LOT of Republican senators are happy that we have the Australian Ballot. These people all worked with Clinton, they know her, and many of them (particularly the women in the senate) worked to get legislation passed with her. Just a hunch, but I’m betting they vote for her, no matter what they say in public.
@bill: She said “aren’t”. It was a transcription error… and you know that. Nice try.
I don’t think it’s so much that they suddenly had an epiphany as that they were in denial. They expected him to flame out early, or get bored. And it was reasonable to think that Trump’s comments about prisoners of war, disabled reporters, menstruating reporters, “ugly” women would put him beyond the pale. But with each outrage, Trump grew more popular.
It seems they, like many of the rest of us, underestimated the number of voters who would find churlishness, gross ignorance, vulgarity, psychosis, and cruelty appealing qualities in a presidential candidate.
Chill out, people. Bill’s not smart enough to be a liar.
He gets his news from World Net Daily, Power Line Blog or some other toxic waste pit of the internet, then faithfully regurgitates it. He honestly doesn’t know that much of what he says isn’t true.
For northeast Republicans this past decade has been worse than the Permian-Triassic extinction event was for most species.
Down here in Texas, the latest chatter was George P. Bush (son of Jeb!) pushing for Trump. Which made a lot of people go “huh?’. Of course , he has his own ambitions. That whole dance may be aimed at Ted Cruz who, as you all remember, pointedly did not endorse Trump. And, after the initial storm of derision, is looking better for it. We’ll see in 2018 what happens.
@Scott: Isn’t he the head of whatever group is in Texas that specifically promotes GOP candidates? I think the real story there is how long it took him to say, “well, yeah, I guess this is our candidate so….” It’s a political future move for him, and I think most people realize that.
Wow, Hillary up by 10 in Pennsylvania.
What was Trump’s ‘strategy’ again? Virginia? Michigan? Pennsylvania? Hah!
And HRC is up a point in NC. In a country this politically polarized this is a really amazing thing to see. Just incredible.
Don’t forget he was going to blaze trails in New Jersey, New York, and California too.
More impressive than the NC polls are the polls showing SOUTH Carolina moving in her direction. While it is of course much, much to early to see if this trend has legs, TPM pointed out that Clinton has a shot at netting the entire east coast. The last candidate to do that? George Washington.
@EddieInCA: oh, she “mis-spoke”? and snopes, really? they used to be somewhat reliable, but they can’t hide their love for liberals.
POS- nice touch there, do you write your own material?
and since when do any of you care what republicans think- unless it’s about the guy running against your girl? i mean really, trump is a ny democrat who had hillary in his pocket when she was a senator. now she’s in everyone’s pocket and it’s all good.
I think Trump should go all-in in California. California is Trump country!
And yet we keep hearing that people hate Hillary. Benghazi! Cankles! Pantsuits!
@michael reynolds: Don’t forget: Raising taxes!
It’s quite pathetic how some people have no interest in the truth. I guess integrity isn’t a conservative value.
There aren’t enough angry white males to offset the women, latinos, LGBT, Asian, African Americans, millennials, Muslims, Jews flocking to Hillary’s campaign.
Trump is losing college educated white women by 30 points. Mitt Romney won this group by 6 points in 2012.
Trump is polling BEHIND David Duke among African Americans.
Susan Collins and other moderate GOP elected officials aren’t stupid. They can read polls. From now until election day, for many in the GOP, the only issue is “How do I get the stank of Trump off of me.?”
@bill: Yeah, we know. Any source of evidence that doesn’t correspond to what you believe must be lying. While sources that back up what you want to believe are obviously Right.
There’s a reason paranoids disappear up their own asses.
Solipsism is no way to go through life, son.
@reid: I think that comprehension is no longer a conservative value either.
Speaking of the paranoia/gullibility of Trumpkins, you have to read this to believe it:
The Conservative Tree(Nut)house is where all Trumpkins go for their news.
Well, reality does have a well-known liberal bias.
@CSK: They’ve been on her health lately over at RedState too, after Drudge posted that 6 month old photo of her slipping on icy steps.
Trump, meanwhile, has released a Pravda-worthy medical statement and eats nothing but fast food, apparently.
Did you like the part about how the remains of the cherry cough drop on her tongue is actually a biopsy scar?
And what about the African-American man standing next to her, whom they’ve identified as a New Jersey neurologist who’s serving as her “medical handler”?
This statement is more revealing than you think.
Snopes is, in fact, incredibly biased…against bullshit. Every time the right comes up with some half-baked ideological bubble-bait, they’re going to earn a rebuke from Snopes. The lesson isn’t to complain about Snopes. It’s to stop trucking in BS.
To be fair, pretty much everyone now has an idea who and what Trump is. David Duke is still kind of obscure.
That’s a bit astounding. In a choice between “the devil they know and they devil they don’t,” people are actually choosing the devil they don’t.
When I saw that “medical statement,” the first thing that popped into my head wasn’t Pravda, it was North Korea’s claims Kim Jong Il shot 11 holes-in-one the first time he touched a set of golf clubs.
@gVOR08: Yeah, that’s what I was thinking as soon as I saw this poll. If 100% of African Americans knew who David Duke was, I doubt he’d get any support from them. The peak of his prominence came in the early 1990s, before many adults today were even born. And even then, he was really nothing more than an odd footnote.
Yes, that was the statement that claimed that Trump would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” right? Which presupposes that the doctor who signed it had personally examined, oh, say, G. Washington, J. Adams, M. Fillmore, T. Roosevelt, correct?
I assumed Trump wrote it, someone corrected it for grammar and spelling, and the doctor signed it.
Because the fact that he’s an ignorant thin-skinned bombastic lunatic blowhard with insane policy prescriptions and zero awareness of how our government works was not enough by itself.
Color me unimpressed.
Pretty much says it all.
@bill: Now you’re doubling down on your lie? You probably should have just left. There’s no point in anybody here ever reading what you wrote again. Since you’ve been called out as a liar with mounds of evidence, and you can’t even bring yourself to admit it.
For all the glee at Trump’s failure, the following article details why I believe things will only get worse.
Bigots, Billionaires, and Borders: The Duke-Trump Fever Swamp
I had a couple of strong takeaways from the article; I’m depressed and fearful of whats to come for our country. The Republican party is not salvageable, and those that know better and yet continue to support it are cowards
@Scott: Over at RedState (where I go for my daily schadenfreude) they are claiming the Congressman McCaul is planning to primary the Sen Lizard in ’18. If so I will simply become comatose because I can’t handle laughing that hard.
@Loviatar: I wonder if some of the Republican office holders who are vocally opposing Trump, have been watching the behaviour of some of his supporters and saying to themselves “I cannot align myself with those people”?
And even keeping it to the present day, that Trump is healthier than Obama and (to be bi-partisan) George W. Bush, which….no.
Trump encourages armed revolt if Clinton is elected…
This is amazing. No way he should get away with that. Our press sucks.
@Loviatar: The Republican Party has basically two assets. They have a collection of wealthy donors who largely want low taxes and light regulation for themselves and their businesses and they have a voter base that has been marinating in the Conservative Echo Chamber for decades. I don’t see how they become more economically populist without losing the donors or how they appeal to minorities without losing the base. So they’re stuck with the plan they’ve been following, trying to con the base.
No, they won’t. They’re cowards and besides these are their voters, its left unsaid and not spoken of in polite society, but there would not be a national Republican party without the racist white vote.
All it will take is a more plausible liar, for them to once again be knocking at the what in their mind is the aptly named White House.
@C. Clavin: Armed revolt is actually the more charitable way you can interpret that. He could also be calling for a president to be assassinated, or the judges that president appoints to be assassinated. You know, garden-variety terrorism.
@C. Clavin: That is alarmingly inappropriate. I still don’t understand how he gets away with saying this sort of thing.
@C. Clavin: He’s taking directly from the playbook of Sharron Angle when she floated “2nd Amendment remedies.”
Here’s the latest PPP poll out of North Carolina.
So if Trump loses, his supporters will take that as evidence that there must have been rigging. And that ACORN is the culprit?
The mind boggles at the stupidity.
All I can tell from the last 12 mos is that A) God REALLY wants the SCOTUS to go liberal and B) She’s bending over backwards to help Hillary. Shit, just a few minutes ago she made trump speculate that maybe patriots will assassinate Hillary.
Oh, Trump has already set them up for that, stating that he fears that not only the debates but the election as well is rigged. And the Trumpkins claim that his Facebook likes predict a landslide in his favor. So if he loses…it had to have been rigged. The Trumpkins have to be the stupidest, most gullible pack of suckers in the universe.
They’re unhinged by their rage.
@C. Clavin: @Tillman:
You guys, he was clearly just referring to the great political power of gun owners and the gun ownership lobby in Americ…
I can’t even pretend here. F@ck this guy.
@CSK: I think we should all agree to call them “Trump’s Chumps” from here on in.
Exactly! Sadly, for the sake of Susan Collins and those of her ilk, Trump is the GOP.
Remember, these are the same people who believe in cloud fairies.
@Thor thormussen: nice to see a real bigot and hate monger show itself .. I am sure children and small animals are not safe around you
@C. Clavin: lets see barryboy said , bring a gun to a knife fight, punch twice as hard and ted strickland says its better that scalia is dead.
meanwhile your little girl panties are bunched over nothing …. nice to see the limp wristed faggots have taken over the Republic