CNN political analyst April Ryan on Wednesday evening lamented that Democrats cannot find “the kryptonite” to take down President Donald Trump after a North Carolina crowd at Trump’s rally chanted “send her back” when Trump was discussing Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) anti-American and antisemitic “screeds.”
Trump held his rally after his tweets about the “Squad” created a firestorm, leading the House to pass a resolution condemning Trump for his “racist comments” about the “Squad.” But Ryan, who has had plenty of tussles with Trump’s White House, warned Democrats not to assume Trump’s latest tweets and actions will be the tipping point for voters even though a majority of voters found Trump’s to be “un-American,” according to a national USA Today poll.
“No one has found the kryptonite for this president,” Ryan told CNN’s Don Lemon. “We have seen time and time again you think you have something. You throw a piece of spaghetti up against the wall. And it just falls off.”
When Lemon mentioned that House Democrats “saw internal polling showing the best argument against Trump is to paint him as ineffective on things like infrastructure or jobs,” Ryan said it will be hard for Democrats to stay disciplined when Trump is ginning up “this racial hate.”
“You know, they’re disciplined enough to stick to this, but the issue is will it stick… Will it stick? But the bottom line is as this president is ginning up all of the anger, this animosity. This racial hate. To stay on topic is very hard,” Ryan continued.”I mean, we have had infrastructure week since the president… every week almost this president has come into office. You know, it’s infrastructure week. What happened? You know, when the president had manufacturers talking about manufacturing in America. When, you know, we know that he had products made overseas. The issue is that he is bringing up these squad of four. So the president gets off point. And everyone else gets off point.”
The Atlantic’s Peter Nicholas interviewed Trump supporters, including African-Americans and immigrants who backed Trump, before his North Carolina rally and “couldn’t fine one who faulted Trump for demonizing the “Squad”:
Trump’s coarsening of political debate always leads to the same question: Did he go so far as to alienate even some of his own supporters? Did his blowing past the boundaries of acceptable discourse render him unelectable? That his base showed up in force last night, parroting his attacks on the congresswomen, once again showed that, for these voters, the answer is no. (Whether the suburban white women and independent voters who were part of his 2016 coalition feel the same is far from certain.)
Talking with the rallygoers, I couldn’t find one who faulted Trump for demonizing the freshman representatives, all four of whom are American citizens, calling on them to leave the United States and return to the “totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” A few conceded that Trump occasionally fires off an inappropriate tweet, but said his accomplishments in office overshadow any offense. If anything, they said, his language springs from an authenticity they find refreshing. None of the people I spoke with considered his comments about the congresswomen racist.
The squad has warned Democrats this week to not to “take the bait,” but Reps. Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) have often been the Democrats who have been the first to take Trump’s bait to gin up left-wing activists.