Trump’s words worry Democrats, but Repub­li­cans praise them

Maryland Independent - - News - By EL­LIE SILVERMAN, MIA O’NEILL and JUSTIN MEYER

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s in­au­gu­ral ad­dress did lit­tle to quell some Mary­land Democrats’ anx­i­eties over what they see as a po­ten­tially di­vi­sive ad­min­is­tra­tion.

But Repub­li­cans like Holly Malec, who re­cently moved with her fam­ily to Rockville from Texas, said she was heart­ened by Trump’s prom­ise to unite Amer­i­cans and work for the peo­ple.

“I think he can help Amer­i­cans get along,” she said.

House Mi­nor­ity Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) was doubt­ful, is­su­ing a state­ment de­nounc­ing the tone of Trump’s re­marks.

“Pres­i­dent Trump had an op­por­tu­nity to­day to unite this coun­try in his in­au­gu­ral re­marks. He chose not to do that,” Hoyer said. “The pres­i­dent will have to set aside such di­vi­sive rhetoric. He must ex­tend a hand to the plu­ral­ity of Amer­i­cans who did not choose him to be our next leader.”

In Mary­land last Novem­ber, 60 per­cent of vot­ers backed Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton for pres­i­dent. She was in at­ten­dance at Fri­day’s in­au­gu­ra­tion.

While Hoyer went to the in­au­gu­ra­tion, more than 60 other Demo­cratic law­mak­ers boy­cotted, in­clud­ing Mary­land Demo­cratic Reps. An­thony Brown and Jamie Raskin.

In his speech, Trump crit- icized what he de­scribed as elit­ist Wash­ing­ton pol­i­tics that ig­nored the needs of reg­u­lar cit­i­zens, and vowed to put power back into the hands of ev­ery­day peo­ple. But he of­fered lit­tle in the way of ad­dress­ing what many see as his own brand of elit- ism — and po­ten­tially con­flict­ing re­la­tion­ships — within the pri­vate sec­tor.

Mary­land Demo­cratic Sen. Ben Cardin, who has been an out­spo­ken critic of Trump’s ex­pan­sive busi­ness ven­tures and po­ten­tial con­flicts of in­ter­est, re­leased a state­ment on Twit­ter con­demn­ing Trump’s com­plex web of multi­na­tional busi­ness ties.

“Now @re­alDon­aldTrump is pres­i­dent, he is bound by oath to up­hold & de­fend the #Con­sti­tu­tion. Mr. Pres­i­dent, you must di­vest from busi­nesses,” Cardin tweeted.

Cit­ing a phrase from the Emol­u­ments Clause of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, he added, “This is not an es­o­teric ar­gu­ment about rules. Divesti­ture from busi­ness deal­ings pro­tects @POTUS and the coun­try from #con­flict­sofin­ter­est. @POTUS re­main­ing en­tan­gled w/ pri­vate busi­nesses in­vites for­eign en­ti­ties to curry fa­vor through leases, deals, gifts.”

Cardin, a se­nior mem­ber of the Se­nate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee, is part of a group of Demo­cratic leg­is­la­tors work­ing on a bill that would force Trump to re­move him­self from any con­flicts of in­ter­est re­gard­ing his do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional busi­nesses.

As Thomas Monje, 30, lis­tened to Trump’s in­au­gu­ral ad­dress on his way home from Lan­ham to Rockville, he said he felt shocked.

Trump as­sumed of­fice with un­prece­dented un­pop­u­lar­ity, and Monje, who voted for Clin­ton, said Trump’s re­marks did not show a will­ing­ness to heal a di­vided coun­try.

“The only sil­ver lin­ing I see from all of this is when the Amer­i­can peo­ple get pushed into a cor­ner they are very re­silient,” said Monje. “I think in the next four years we’ll be see­ing a lot of ac­tivists and peo­ple who will rise up to the chal­lenge.”

The first move of Bal­ti­more’s newly elected city coun­cil last month was to unan­i­mously pass a res­o­lu­tion con­demn­ing Trump’s “di­vi­sive and scape­goat­ing rhetoric, rooted in hate and prej­u­dice.”

In Trump’s in­au­gu­ral ad­dress, he re­ferred to crime and “poverty in our in­ner cities,” and said “this Amer­i­can car­nage stops right here and stops right now.”

Bal­ti­more Mayor Cather­ine Pugh said in a state­ment af­ter the ad­dress that she looked for­ward to work­ing with the in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion on “in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ments and putting Bal­ti­more res­i­dents to work.”

De­spite Mary­land’s deeply Demo­cratic elec­torate and Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s re­fusal to vote for Trump, Ho­gan at­tended the in­au­gu­ra­tion, as well as other pro-Trump Mary­lan­ders.

Malec, 46, said she’d been frus­trated by the amount of neg­a­tive dis­course in pol­i­tics re­cently and hoped Trump could help in mend­ing the di­vi­sions she be­lieved had grown up among var­i­ous sec­tors of the pop­u­la­tion.

Rick Vil­lareal, 45, a Trump sup­porter from Sev­ern, soaked in the mo­ment. His great­est take­away from the speech was op­ti­mism.

“The en­ergy level of try­ing to make Amer­ica great again, that whole theme,” Vil­lareal said. “There is hope, and we just con­tinue striv­ing to­gether.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.