Republican leaders tremble at the thought of publicly criticizing their president. Even in the aftermath of his dangerous support of White supremacist groups, they apparently fear reprisal from President Donald Trump and the party’s racist base.
So, it’s not surprising that GOP leaders declined to speak on air Sunday on NBC News‘ “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.”
Former Republican Congressman J.C. Watts, who’s Black, responded to Todd’s invitation, saying his conscience would not permit him to remain silent on Charlottesville, the network reported.
“This is not a time for us to be afraid of being tweeted [by Trump]. This is not a time for us to suppress our convictions. I know a lot of those members of Congress and they don’t think like that,” the Oklahoma Republican, who served as chair of the House Republican Conference from 1999 to 2003, told Todd.
He continued: “However, Chuck, if they are silent, they wear the cap, either intentionally or unintentionally, they wear the cap saying, ‘we agree with that.’”
Watts said Trump failed to “respond the right way” to what he calls a“right now moment,” which every president confronts.
“Now, he (Trump) probably disagrees with that, but I don’t think he responded the right way,” the former congressman said.
Tulsa World noted that Watts praised several Republicans, including Sens. Rand Paul, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham, for boldly disagreeing with the president’s remarks on Charlottesville. He also commended members of Trump’s business council for resigning. But he’s disappointed that the president’s faith council remains silent when the nation needs moral clarity on the issues.