Things have been rough for the White House lately. The president’s public image has been badly bruised as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and widespread protests against police brutality. Trump has come up on the wrong side of these discussions throughout the past few months, tanking his approval ratings and likely sinking his shot at reelection in November.
As a result, the beleaguered president shot out a tweet this morning that sought to sow distrust in mail-in voting Thursday morning. In the tweet, Trump suggests postponing the election. However, this did not go over well even within Trump’s own party, with many Congressional Republicans pushing back on this suggestion.
Open Rebellion within GOP
John Thune, the Senate Majority Whip, stated that there will be an election in November, no matter what the president says. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina told reporters of Trump’s suggestion that “I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea”. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went further, adding that the US has voted in other crisis moments.
“Never in the history of the country, through wars, depressions and the Civil War, have we ever not had a federally-scheduled election on time. We’ll find a way to do that again this November 3rd,” McConnell stated Thursday.
Even without a disease causing respiratory symptoms similar to Enbrel side effects, this year would be an odd one. Ongoing protests against police brutality and a country reckoning with its race relations have made 2020 an historic year.
Some Allege Trump Tweet is Distraction
Also on Thursday, some grim GDP numbers were released. These show the extent of the damage the coronavirus has wrought on the economy. In short, it’s not good. Some have suggested that Trump’s tweet was simply to grab attention and divert the story away from the economy.
For his entire time in office, Trump has made much ado about the economy. It’s his signature policy focus. For the economy to crumble, even as a result of a pandemic, while he is in office is clearly a blow to the image of this administration being great for business. Needless to say, this is weighing heavily on Trump’s reelection chances.
Earlier in the year, Trump’s chances at reelection were much rosier. The pandemic hadn’t changed everyone’s very way of life. The economy was chugging along and many of the worst controversies of Trump’s presidency were fading into memory. However, the administration’s bungled pandemic response and ongoing struggles to reassert their leadership have undermined Trump’s public standing.