South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said that Donald Trump’s phony teleprompter speech – delivered days after the mass killing in El Paso over the weekend – isn’t going to solve the gun violence crisis sweeping across the country.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said Trump’s lifeless speech was also a swing and a miss because it is completely divorced from the actions and rhetoric that have so far defined his presidency.
“It’s certainly not consistent with the message we’ve been getting from him all along – demonizing Mexicans and Latinos and immigrants, often celebrating violence or at least seeming to go along with it when political violence is being cheered on at his rallies,” the mayor said.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 7, 2019
It’s certainly not consistent with the message we’ve been getting from him all along. Demonizing Mexicans and Latinos and immigrants, often celebrating violence or at least seeming to go along with it when political violence is being cheered on at his rallies. Look, what we saw was the absolute bare minimum that you would expect from a president, but what we need from a president is two things. First of all, the ability to unify this country, and secondly, the ability to lead the way on something that will actually make us safe. Earlier today, I put out an action plan on national security when it comes to these kinds of incidents. It’s really got two sets of things we’ve got to deal with. One of them is gun safety. The other one is countering violent extremism. This administration has reduced the capacity of the Department of Homeland Security to deal with homegrown terrorism and violent extremism in our midst. We’ve got change that. And of course we have got to deliver common-sense gun safety reform, something the president could do with one phone call to Mitch McConnell, especially knowing that the House has already passed some measures, only to have them not even get a vote in the Senate. Actions speak louder than words. Let’s see if the president is going the act in any way. I don’t have my hopes up, but if there was ever a time for him to do something out of character, this is it.
Trump’s words are meaningless
There is no question that part of being a good president means being able to console the nation after a tragedy.
Former President Barack Obama repeatedly demonstrated this skill in the wake of mass shootings that took place during his presidency. Heck, he even did it on Monday in his thoughtful, presidential response to a weekend of violence in El Paso and Dayton.
But the words Donald Trump spoke on Monday when he delivered his official response to the bloodshed lose any meaning they might have had the moment he goes on Twitter and launches into another racist diatribe.
They lose meaning the instant he stands in front of a mob of red caps and spews venom about an “infestation” of Mexican immigrants and basks in the bigotry of his supporters.
They lose meaning when he and his Republican allies in Congress refuse to allow the passage of meaningful legislation to curb gun violence and save American lives.
This president can stand in front of a teleprompter and read as many scripts as he wants, but the American people know who the real Donald Trump is.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.