President Trump appears to be willing to play hardball to get his promise fulfilled.
In a recent event speech in Arizona, particular anger was reserved for “obstructionist Democrats”. The President said: “the 48 Democrats [in the Senate] have no idea, no policies, no vision for the country; the only thing they do is they obstruct like the Health Bill.” And, “Obamacare is the disaster and we will repeal and replace as we are just one vote away.” He also said, “If we have to close down our government, we’re building that wall.”
[SEE FULL ARIZONA RALLY SPEECH VIDEO BELOW]
Other major topics that came up in his 80 minute speech were (as reported by the BBC):
- Nafta: The US, Mexico and Canada have begun talks on revising their trade deal, and negotiators are due to meet again on 1 September. But Mr Trump said he thought he would “probably end up terminating Nafta”
- North Korea: He sounded hopeful about a reduction of tensions. Referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Mr Trump said: “I respect the fact that he is starting to respect us.” He added: “And maybe – probably not, but maybe – something positive can come about.”
- Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The US president hinted he would pardon the controversial former Arizona sheriff, who rose to national prominence with his tough stance against illegal immigration. He said that Joe Arpaio – who was found guilty of criminal contempt in July over his detention of migrants – “is going to be just fine”, but he would not yet formally pardon him because “I don’t want to cause any controversy.”
The rally appears to have reinvigorated his base and reignited the media’s hyperbole. CNN’s Don Lemon even accused President Trump of seeking to start a “civil war” with his “dangerous” rhetoric. Of course, President Trump soundly criticized the “fake news” media as well. However, despite the constant media criticism, President Trump has refused to waver on his campaign promises. None more so than building the Wall along the southern border.
His threat of government shutdown drew more media criticism. Critics claim he is willing to hold America “hostage” in order to “get his way.” Yet supporters view the government shutdown threat as a warning to Congress, especially the Senate. Many of those who steadfastly support President Trump view his usage of a government shutdown as an indication that, unlike “typical politicians,” he intends to fulfill his promises. They say his “Build the Wall” promise wasn’t just the type of campaign promise many politicians make and then discard once in office.
Whether the threat of government shutdown was indeed a threat or merely a negotiation tactic remains to be seen. However, the President has take a public, and some say hardline stance, with a deadline just over a month away.
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.