Republicans turn on Trump over vicious rally attack on congresswoman’s late husband
The president has meanwhile been attracting criticism from his fellow Republicans after attacking Democratic congresswoman Debbie Dingell and suggesting her late husband John is in hell during his rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, this week, with Oklahoma’s Tom Cole branding his remarks “extraordinarily inappropriate”.
During the Michigan rally on Wednesday night, Trump lashed out at the family following Debbie Dingell casting two votes in favour of the two articles of impeachment against him, suggesting the former dean of the House was “looking up” from hell after noting he [Trump] had lowered flags to half-mast in the capital in the wake of his death.
“She calls me up. ‘It’s the nicest thing that’s ever happened. Thank you so much. John should be so thrilled. He’s looking down. He’d be so thrilled,” Trump told his supporters. “’Thank you so much, sir.’ I said, ‘That’s OK, don’t worry about it.’ Maybe he’s looking up. I don’t know.”
Michigan Republican congressmen Fred Upton and Paul Mitchell joined Cole in condemning the attack, the former tweeting:
Washington Republican Jamie Herrera Beutler commented: “I think it’s really sad. It’s a really, really terrible thing to say. It’s Christmas, to make jokes about where people are spending eternity – you must be really sure about where you’re spending your eternity, right? It’s terrible.
“Debbie and I don’t agree on everything, but she’s an awesome lady and she doesn’t deserve to have her husband’s legacy turned into a political talking point, a political joke. It’s terrible.”
New York’s Tom Reed, Susan Brooks of Indiana and Georiga’s Barry Loudermilk and Rob Woodall also talked to The Hill to express their disapproval, along with plenty of others on the opposite side of the aisle.
Jonathan Lemire of the AP added that the crowd in the arena was not with him in the attack and that it was unwise of the president to risk alienating an important swing state by attacking a “favourite son” like John Dingell – or any of the other deceased public figures he’s gone after like late soldiers Humayun Khan and La David Johnson or Arizona senator John McCain.
Here’s Matt Drake on that shocking moment from Trump’s Wednesday address to his MAGA base.