During Tuesday’s “New Day” on CNN, network political analyst John Avlon compared President Donald Trump’s response to the deadly wildfires in California killing around 100 people in 2018 and Hurricane Maria killing around an estimated 3,000 to his response to Sunday’s tornadoes that took at least 23 lives in Alabama.
Avlon wondered if Trump is playing “partisan politics” because his response to conservative Alabama’s natural disaster was to help while he was critical of California and Puerto Rico to the point of being “perilously close to blaming the victim.”
“So, what might make a president take a different instinctive tact towards Puerto Rico, California and the families in Lee County, Alabama?” Avlon asked. “Sad to say, but it just might be politics. Back in November, the Washington Post noted the stark differences in an article headlined, ‘For Trump, Even Disaster Response Is Colored in Red and Blue.’ Trump won Alabama by nearly two to one margin over Hillary Clinton, but lost California by almost the same margin. Bottom line: partisan politics shouldn’t even cross a president’s mind in the face of suffering by U.S. citizens.”
He continued, “George W. Bush didn’t exactly carry Manhattan, but he rallied around the city of New York after the attacks of 9/11. That’s what president’s do. That’s why it’s called acting presidential, and everyone should feel that the federal government has got their back when disaster strikes because it’s moments like that when we should realize that no matter who you vote for, what divides us is small in the face of what unites us as Americans. And that’s your reality check.”
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