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2 Opposing Takes on Trump's El Paso Visit

Critic sees it as possible turning point against him, while supporter sees Democrats' hypocrisy
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2019 8:19 AM CDT
President Trump talks to reporters aboard Air Force One after visiting Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – President Trump's visits on Wednesday to El Paso and Dayton to meet with victims of the cities' mass shootings have led to polar-opposite reactions. Two examples:

  • A critic: In the New York Times, El Paso native Richard Parker writes that Trump "seemed to shrink" in the city. "For perhaps the first time in his angry, racist and cruel presidency, the tables were turned in smoldering, righteous popular anger—and he was on the receiving end." Parker wonders if this is a turning point in the Trump presidency. "The El Paso massacre brought together the most active of America's shifting tectonic plates: racism, assault weapons, a national Latino population of 60 million now with a target on its back, Mr. Trump’s white nationalism and his awful manners for a country in mourning." He concludes that "we—or most of us—are El Paso now." (Read his full column.)

  • In defense: At the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen sees Democratic hypocrisy in top form. Democrats instantly blamed El Paso on Trump, but they've been silent about the shooter in Dayton, who expressed liberal sympathies online. "Sorry, I missed the speech in which (Elizabeth) Warren, or any Democrat, has taken personal responsibility for how their inflammatory rhetoric contributed to the Dayton massacre," he writes. Yes, Trump has "coarsened political discourse," but Democrats have long played the same game—Thiessen ticks off examples going back to race-themed ads against George W. Bush in 2000. But they can't have it both ways: "If Trump is responsible for El Paso, then Democrats are responsible for Dayton," writes Thiessen. (Read his full column.)

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