Republicans are coming under attack from one of their own over the widespread failure to stand up to Donald Trump as he continues his nearly week-long attacks on the deceased John McCain.
Rick Wilson, a longtime Republican strategist, penned a blistering column for The Daily Beast in which he called out the “cowardice” of the party as a whole in its failure to rein in Trump’s attacks on McCain. Trump has attacked the dead Arizona Senator for turning over the Steele dossier to the FBI and for casting the deciding vote that ended Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare, and in doing so, has lobbed a number of personal insults against McCain.
With McCain no longer around to defend himself, Wilson said Republicans should have stepped up the plate and taken on Trump, but believes they are too afraid of incurring his wrath. Wilson noted that only a very small handful of Republicans have offered any kind of rebuke to Donald Trump, including another longstanding Trump critic in Senator Mitt Romney and freshman Congressman Dan Crenshaw.
To the rest of the party, Wilson said their reactions are “profiles in chickens**t.”
“Silence or soft words amount to a defense of a President who cheated the draft to avoid service in Vietnam as he belittles and dishonors a man, no longer alive to respond for himself, who volunteered for both service and combat, flew from the heaving decks of aircraft carriers to bomb enemy targets and was shot down, captured, and tortured beyond imagination,” Wilson wrote.
Wilson noted that even what would appear to be Trump’s base is not behind him. When Trump launched into a live attack on McCain during a visit to Lima, Ohio, following several days of attacking through Twitter, the campaign rally-like atmosphere fell silent. There were no cheers, even in what Wilson described as a stage show filled with audience interaction.
Veterans to Trump: Enough already with the attacks on late Sen. John McCain https://t.co/vrTBvNiKDD
— Vote Dem for the Planet (@Brasilmagic) March 22, 2019
Mr. President, seriously stop talking about Senator McCain.
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) March 21, 2019
Donald Trump has been open about his feelings about McCain, famously saying during the 2016 presidential campaign that he did not believe McCain was a war hero since he had been shot down and captured in Vietnam. Trump continued his attacks on McCain after the Arizona Senator was diagnosed with brain cancer, and those attacks have continued now seven months after McCain’s death.
Donald Trump’s attacks on John McCain seem to have overshadowed all other work for the president this week. On Wednesday, Donald Trump decided to forgo writing a message to son Barron on his 13th birthday, and instead spent much of the day leveling new attacks against McCain on Twitter, People magazine noted.