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Tags: gop | protests | black lives matter | senate | mcsally | collins | law and order

GOP Split on Embracing Trump's Anti-Black Lives Matter Messaging

man wears a shirt with a patch that reads black lives matter
(Mark Makela/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 01 September 2020 10:20 AM EDT

Republicans running in close elections are divided over whether to follow President Donald Trump’s lead in attacking the Black Lives Matter movement or take a more moderate approach, The Hill reports.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has mainly criticized her Democrat opponent, Sara Gideon, on taxes and other economic issues, and previously criticized Trump for how protesters outside the White House were treated, saying it was “painful to watch” federal officers use chemical irritants to disperse protesters so Trump could be photographed in front of a church with a Bible.

Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., has attacked Democrat Mark Kelly over his business ties, avoiding the president’s rhetoric on the protests and his warnings that Democrats will usher in chaos and lawlessness if elected.

“None of that has been playing over here,” said Thomas Volgy, a political science professor at the University of Arizona. “After a while, people begin to say, ‘Isn’t this on Trump’s watch?’”

“In places like Arizona, where protests have been incredibly peaceful, it’s not going to play at all,” Volgy added. “Senate candidates are really worried this is going to backfire on them.”

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., have both embraced Trump’s messaging, condemning their Democrat opponents for defending the Black Lives Matter movement and the ongoing protests.

Volgy noted that Trump is taking a risk by focusing on “anarchy and mayhem,” since it draws attention to problems that emerged during his term.

“A race like this is all about the status quo. If you’re happy with the status quo, then incumbents win. Trump is taking an enormous gamble by saying the status quo is horrible and I’ll change it next time around. It sounds like the Senate candidates who are part of the status quo are trying to look at other issues,” Volgy said.

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Politics
Republicans running in close elections are divided over whether to follow President Donald Trump's lead in attacking the Black Lives Matter movement or take a more moderate approach, The Hill reports. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has mainly criticized her Democrat opponent...
gop, protests, black lives matter, senate, mcsally, collins, law and order
304
2020-20-01
Tuesday, 01 September 2020 10:20 AM
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