Connecticut Democratic Party Blog

Donald Trump’s Birtherism. Where Do Republicans Stand?

Donald Trump’s ascendance in the political arena was fueled by his prominent birtherism – widely considered racist – before the 2012 election. Over the past several weeks his campaign has attempted to backtrack, claiming that Trump now believes that President Obama was born in the United States, and today – after five years – he finally acknowledged that fact. He did not apologize, express regret for peddling this ridiculous lie, or offer any explanation for changing his mind less than two months before Election Day.

In an interview with the Washington Post just this past Wednesday, however, Trump continued to promulgate birtherism, refusing to say whether he accepted the fact that the President was born in Hawaii. It was far from the first time he has brought the birther issue up in the 2016 campaign.

While Connecticut Republicans have in recent days distanced themselves from Trump, they remain inextricably linked. The vast majority of GOP legislators in the state support his campaign, and the House minority leader, as well as several prominent Republican leaders, attended the Republican National Convention as a Trump delegate.

Democrats believe that Connecticut Republicans must be clear about whether they agree with Trump’s birtherism. Polls have shown that as many as 61 percent of Trump supporters believe that President Obama was born in another country. GOP candidates and elected officials need to make clear whether they stand with Trump and his supporters on this politically charged issue.

“President Obama was born in the United States. Donald Trump’s continued willingness to stoke the flames of racism that have defined the birther movement is yet another reminder of the GOP nominee’s penchant for playing the politics of hatred and fear. Donald Trump is, quite simply, unfit to serve as president and commander-in-chief.

“As they have done throughout this campaign – when Trump insulted prisoners of war, threatened to ban Muslims from entering the country, attacked a Gold Star family, and countless other transgressions – Connecticut Republicans will, I’m sure, remain silent, hoping not to answer for their nominee. It is up to the Connecticut media to hold these GOP candidates and officeholders accountable for their party’s standard bearer. To accept Trump’s racism and bigotry as a common occurrence of this campaign and to fail to ask tough questions of his supporters is to normalize it.” – Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby

Trump Pays Lip Service To Paid Family Leave

In a speech tonight, Donald Trump is expected to pay lip service to a federal paid maternity leave policy. Although Trump’s ‘family friendly’ proposals would likely make matters worse for working families while benefiting wealthy parents, Connecticut Democrats expect Republicans in the state to support Trump’s plan while distancing themselves from their nominee’s more controversial rhetoric and proposals.

“This is another Donald Trump proposal. It’s aimed at convincing working people to vote for him, but in reality – like just about every policy he has released so far – it would do much more harm than good. He also has no real way to pay for it.

“Despite the plan’s complete impracticability, we predict that Republicans running for Congress in Connecticut will express their support while continuing to maintain their distance from the underlying agenda, attempting to avoid having to answer for their party’s nominee. In reality, the vast majority of Connecticut Republican politicians support Trump and should be held accountable.

“Democrats like Rosa DeLauro have fought for years to pass paid family leave – not just maternity leave – at the federal level. We will continue that fight long after Republicans have moved on from pandering.” – Connecticut Democratic Party Communications Director Leigh Appleby

Heather Somers flunked the Trump test

CT Dems’ Reaction: “Donald Trump is the most dangerous presidential candidate of our lifetimes. He has spent the last several days singing the praises of Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin, insulting our generals while pretending he has a secret plan to defeat ISIS, and blaming military sexual assault on men and women serving together – in essence, blaming the victims. This alone should disqualify him, but he has also mocked people with disabilities, attacked a Gold Star family, and promised to ban an entire religion from entering our country. Despite it all, Heather Somers continues to support Trump. This is just another example of Somers’s poor judgement: First she stood with Ambassador Tom Foley in his failed gubernatorial campaign, and now she’s standing by Donald Trump. Connecticut deserves better than a voice in the State Senate that supports Donald Trump’s campaign and agenda.” – Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby

The Day: Heather Somers flunked the Trump test

By David Collins

I have a hard time with the candidacy of Timothy Bowles of Preston, the Democrat running to replace Andrew Maynard in the 18th District state Senate rate.

The idea of sending a former union officer, a retired state worker with a generous pension, to Hartford to solve the state’s union-fostered, pension-burdened fiscal crisis seems like madness.

On the other hand, I can’t vote for someone — and I live in the 18th District — who supports Donald Trump.

Republican Heather Somers of Groton, who lost her bid in 2014 to be lieutenant governor as Tom Foley’s running mate, seems to have a strong bid to win this fall in the 18th.

She lost me, though, in this week’s debate in which she said she will be supporting her party’s nominee for president.

Read more…

Hartford Courant: Maine Governor’s Baseless Bluster Warrants An Apology

CT Dems’ Reaction: “Paul LePage’s behavior is intolerable. His comments were undeniably racist. The Courant is right: He needs to apologize immediately. What’s truly unacceptable – yet in no way surprising from the party of Trump – is Connecticut Republicans’ utter silence on this issue. LePage insulted our state in an unjustified, fact-free, and bigoted manner, but the same Republicans who claim to prioritize an ‘urban agenda’ are remaining silent in the face of racism directed at our communities.

“Furthermore, it’s important to note that Connecticut Republicans – by the invitation of Sen. Henri Martin – openly embraced LePage last year. Where is Senator Martin now? Does he continue to stand with LePage? He, specifically, needs to make his voice heard.” – Connecticut Democratic Party spokesman Leigh Appleby

Hartford Courant Editorial: Maine Governor’s Baseless Bluster Warrants An Apology

The governor of Maine owes all of Connecticut — particularly the black and Hispanic people of Waterbury — a sincere apology.

Last week, Gov. Paul R. LePage said he had a binder containing pictures of drug dealers arrested in Maine. “I will tell you that 90-plus percent of those pictures in my book, and it’s a three-ringed binder, are black and Hispanic people from Waterbury, Conn., the Bronx and Brooklyn.”

Read more…

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