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Donald Trump Has Caused Worldwide Dismay: Mitt Romney

Romney said he would support the President in policies he thought were in the best interests of Utah or the US but speak out against actions "that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions"

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Donald Trump, Prince, troops
Indian American Congressman asks Trump to end government shutdown. VOA

Former Republican presidential candidate and incoming Utah Senator Mitt Romney has launched a scathing attack on President Donald Trump, writing in an editorial that he caused dismay around the world and had “not risen to the mantle of the office”.

“It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination. After he became the nominee, I hoped his campaign would refrain from resentment and name-calling. It did not,” Romney wrote in the Washington Post opinion piece on Tuesday.

“… His conduct over the past two years, particularly his actions, is evidence that the President has not risen to the mantle of the office.”

 Romney, who is set to be sworn into the Senate on Thursday, also said that Trump’s presidency weakened America’s influence abroad, writing that “Trump’s words and actions have caused dismay around the world”.

“The world needs American leadership and it is in America’s interest to provide it.”

“With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable… And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.”

Trump hit back at the Republican senator-elect in a tweet on Wednesday, saying: “Here we go with Mitt Romney, but so fast! Question will be, is he a Flake? I hope not,” Trump tweeted, referring to retiring Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican who criticized the President often in the last few years.

“Would much prefer that Mitt focus on Border Security and so many other things where he can be helpful. I won big, and he didn’t. He should be happy for all Republicans. Be a team player and win!” Trump said.

Trump, U.S.
Donald Trump. VOA

Romney said that he agreed with some of the policy changes Trump has championed. “But policies and appointments are only a part of a presidency,” he wrote.

Responding to Romney’s piece, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said that the incoming senator “lacked the ability to save this nation” while Trump “has saved it”.

“Jealously is a drink best served warm and Romney just proved it. So sad, I wish everyone had the courage (Trump) had,” Parscale said.

Also Read- US Dollar Gains Amid Global Growth Fears

Romney and Trump have long had a complicated political relationship. The President had called Romney “irrelevant” and had bragged that he was a more successful businessman.

When Trump was running for President in 2016, Romney called him a “phoney” and a “fraud”. In 2017, he slammed the President after the deadly white supremacist rally in Virginia for causing “racists to rejoice” and “minorities to weep”.

Romney said he would support the President in policies he thought were in the best interests of Utah or the US but speak out against actions “that are divisive, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, dishonest or destructive to democratic institutions”. (IANS)

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Economy to Overcome Other Issues in 2020, says Trump

President Donald Trump is hoping that simple message in 2020 will help foil his eventual Democratic Party challenger. 

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President Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump attends a Keep America Great Rally at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, U.S. VOA

“It’s the economy, stupid” has been a catchphrase of U.S. presidential politics since the 1992 campaign, when Bill Clinton unseated incumbent George H.W. Bush. Nearly three decades later, U.S. President Donald Trump is hoping that simple message in 2020 will help foil his eventual Democratic Party challenger.

Trump — in tweets, at political rallies and in remarks to reporters — constantly emphasizes the performance of the U.S. economy, stock market surges, low unemployment rates and his tax cuts to boast he is doing a great job as president.

Economists and political analysts are divided on whether that message will enable the incumbent to stay in office beyond January 2021.

Culture war, partisan split

Ever since Clinton, “we’ve all kind of assumed that should be true. And I think for the most part, it is,” said Ryan McMaken, senior editor and economist at the Mises Institute, a politics and economics research group in Alabama. He cautioned, though, that Trump finds himself on one side of a culture war that his predecessors did not have to confront, as well as a deep partisan divide on consumer confidence.

Walmart Supercentre
Balo Balogun labels items in preparation for a holiday sale at a Walmart Supercenter, in Las Vegas. Black Friday once again kicks off the start of the holiday shopping season. But it will be the shortest season since 2013 because of Thanksgiving falling on the fourth Thursday in November, the latest possible date it can be. VOA

Policy analyst James Pethokoukis at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, a public policy research group, also is cautious about the economy prevailing over all other issues.

“Just having a strong economy is not going to guarantee you re-election,” he said. “People often point back to the 2000 election, which occurred after a decade of tremendous economic growth any way you want to measure it — gross domestic product, jobs and wage growth. And yet, [Clinton’s vice president] Al Gore still lost that election to George W. Bush.”

McMaken questioned whether voters in key swing states — such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio — who cast ballots for Trump in 2016 were experiencing enough of the touted economic performance to vote again for the president.

Overall, however, “it’s not a bad economy to run on if you’re Donald Trump,” said Pethokoukis.

Trump, said to have concerns about the direction of the economy ahead of next November’s election, will likely push for more tax cuts, passage of a renegotiated North American trade pact and continued pressure on the country’s central banking system, the Federal Reserve, to lower interest rates.

A LB Steel LLC's employee manufactures a component
A LB Steel LLC’s employee manufactures a component for new Amtrak Acela trains built in partnership with Alstom in Harvey, Illinois, U.S. VOA

Trouble ahead?

There are rumblings of economic storm clouds on the horizon. The impact can be seen in Trump’s trade war with China, which has hurt U.S. farmers and raised prices for consumer goods. It’s also reflected in the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index, an underperforming U.S. Private Sector Job Quality Index and a ballooning record national debt, in addition to the worrying level of money owed to creditors by middle-class Americans.

“We’ve actually been in a sort of a manufacturing recession, seen a shrinkage of factory jobs, the exact kinds of jobs that I’m sure that people voting for the president thought would be a lot better now,” said Pethokoukis.

So far, none of this has prompted a major stock market correction.

“There seems to be a lot of adaptations in the markets to Trump’s America. That may work to his advantage,” said the Mises Institute’s McMaken.

Analysts note a lack of emphasis on economic platforms so far by the leading Democratic U.S. presidential candidates seeking to oust Trump next year.

But such a platform is likely to be touted when the opposition party holds its convention next July in Milwaukee and picks its campaign ticket. Pethokoukis suggested the Democratic Party should devise a plan with a goal to boost American worker productivity, which has flatlined for years.

The great divide

McMaken pointed out that the widening chasm between the well-off and those struggling economically in the United States makes Trump vulnerable — something emphasized by left-leaning Democratic presidential contenders such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Donald Trump says the economy isn't doing well
Tents and tarps erected by homeless people are shown along sidewalks and streets in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S. VOA

“On the ground level, I would say just in general, the economy isn’t doing as well,” concluded McMaken.

ALSO READ: Greed For Power May Demolish The Democracy

Amid an impeachment drive by the Democrats, Trump is repeatedly hammering on a specific message to those questioning his suitability for office while being impressed with the performance of their pension accounts during his presidency.

“Love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me,” Trump said at a rally in New Hampshire in August, warning that Americans’ investments portfolios would go “down the tubes” if he lost next year’s election. (VOA)