Even Republicans are criticizing Donald Trump for suggesting equivalency between white supremacists and counter-protestors in events Friday and Saturday in Charlottesville, where one person was killed and 19 injured by a car that plowed into those opposing the racist demonstrations.
During a brief and uncomfortable address to reporters at his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., he called for an end to the violence. But he was the only national political figure to spread blame for the “hatred, bigotry and violence” that resulted in the death of one person to “many sides.”
For the most part, Republican leaders and other allies have kept quiet over several months about Mr. Trump’s outbursts and angry Twitter posts. But recently they have stopped averting their gazes and on Saturday a handful criticized his reaction to Charlottesville as insufficient.
“Mr. President — we must call evil by its name,” tweeted Senator Cory Gardner, Republican from Colorado, who oversees the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the campaign arm of the Senate Republicans.
As we noted yesterday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson alone among Arkansas Republicans on Saturday called down the white nationalists who mounted the protest of
Trump’s suggestion of equivalency was rejected by many in his party. Some examples:
Our hearts are with today's victims. White supremacy is a scourge. This hate and its terrorism must be confronted and defeated.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) August 12, 2017
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 12, 2017
Closer to home, here are two contrasting Twitter posts. The first from a progressive Republican candidate for Third District Congress, the second from a Republican state senator from Mountain View.
"On many sides" is not leadership. It's cowardice. One side-the side of bigotry, racism, and hatred-is wrong. The President should say so.
— Robb Ryerse (@robb2018) August 12, 2017
Finally, it took Sen. Tom Cotton, on one of his foreign junkets, until Sunday morning to muster a comment, but he did join those criticizing white supremacists. (The post follows recent Twitter activity in support of his draconian anti-immigration legislation that would generally allow admittance of only highly educated, highly paid people with financial resources to enter the country.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) August 13, 2017
— French Hill (@RepFrenchHill) August 13, 2017