In a blistering speech at the Center for American Progress yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid laid blame for the dangerous rise of Donald Trump squarely at the feet of Republican leaders.
“The Republican establishment acts bewildered,” Senator Reid said. “But they shouldn’t.”
“For eight years, [GOP leaders] drained all the oxygen from the policy debate in this country by replacing thoughtful engagement with resentment and hatred…This is exactly the kind of mindless behavior that has hollowed out our political debate and created the conditions for Trump to rise. Republican leaders created the drought conditions. Donald Trump simply struck the match.”
“This resentment and hatred took three main forms. First, rendering President Barack Obama ‘illegitimate.’ Second, fear-mongering against Muslims. Third, sowing hatred against Latinos. These forces, which are all now synonymous with Donald Trump’s candidacy, were incubated by Republican leaders for the past eight years.”
“After years of refusing to denounce birtherism, McConnell and Ryan are now supporting the most prominent birther in the nation. Why are they waiting to withdraw their support? What more do they need to see?”
“Trump has made disgusting, sexist statements. He has insulted veterans, immigrants and people with disabilities. Americans are being assaulted and taunted with racial slurs at Trump’s rallies. Violence is being threatened and committed against African Americans with disturbing regularity. And Trump encourages it all.”
One of our favorite things about Senator Reid is when he tells it like it is, and this is no exception. Many have been warning Republicans since last June about Trump’s dangerous campaign, only to be brushed off and ignored as these leaders and candidates capitulated to him. Now that Trump is within striking distance of the nomination, they are fearful.
But as Senator Reid so perfectly notes, they only have themselves to blame. They were warned.
The full text from Senator Reid’s speech is available here, and the video below.