Human memories are fickle and fade, but the Internet never forgets.
And that may cause deep regrets someday for politicians in Michigan who have hitched their wagons to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
It’s been true for many months that every week Trump somehow finds a way to stoop to a new low.
Since the start of the Democratic National Convention, however, Trump has ratcheted up his offensiveness to a near-daily occurrence. His recent attacks on the family of Capt. Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq — and indeed, his campaign surrogates’ attempts to smear the heroic soldier himself — would in any other year be the end of a presidential candidate’s campaign.
Of course, in any normal year, such a candidate wouldn’t have even made it this far. Not after attacking Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” attacking a female journalist for having “blood coming out of her … wherever,” and attacking Sen. John McCain’s military record — while having been a draft dodger himself. Not after making fun of a female opponent’s physical appearance and mocking a reporter’s physical handicap.
And certainly not after encouraging Russia to spy on his political opponent.
UPDATE 8/10: And most certainly not after suggesting violence against Clinton and liberal jurists.
It’s important to recap these moments because they are a reflection of Trump’s vile character that must not be forgotten. And this post will serve as a Googleable reminder of all the Michigan politicians who said Trump is their guy. These politicians endorsed him — some more heartily than others — despite his obvious mental and emotional unfitness for office.
As Trump’s rhetoric grew ever more offensive over the course of the campaign, showing himself lacking even in basic human decency, many have remained silent and looked the other way, while a few have denounced his offensive statements even while continuing to endorse him.
Case in point: Attorney General Bill Schuette, who is trying to have it both ways. Schuette says some of Trump’s statements are deplorable. “It’s not how I act, feel, behave. It’s not how I was raised.”
But support a presidential candidate who acts, feels, behaves that way? No problem!
“I’m not going to turn the keys to America over to Hillary Clinton, I’m going to support the Republican Nominee and that’s going to be Donald Trump,” Schuette said to Fox UP. “Because the stakes are so high, Supreme Court Justices, we can’t have a Europeanization of the American economy, which is the Obama-Clinton approach of more taxes, more rules, more regulations.”
It’s the height of hypocrisy. It’s also cynical, business-as-usual politics from Schuette. Look, Schuette can denounce Trump’s rhetoric until the cows come home, but as long as he’s still endorsing him, he’s covered in #TrumpStink.
So without further ado, here are the rest of the elected officials who support Trump in Michigan. If you have one to add, either leave a comment below or email me.
U.S. Rep. Candice Miller takes the cake with the most enthusiastic endorsement, quoted in Politico:
“I am totally and completely looking forward to President Trump — he’s our nominee,” Miller said. “I believe in the good sense of the American people, the voters, and clearly the voters in our party in enormous numbers have chosen Trump as the nominee. … It’s over. Listen, I think we’ve all become politically correct run amok, and the American people are fed up with it.”
U.S. Rep. Dave Trott said he appreciates how Trump is “giving a voice to millions of Americans who have been ignored by Washington and are disgusted with the failures of the career politicians running this country.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop endorsed Trump, saying he has “raised concerns that all Americans have.” Like Schuette, he said Trump’s rhetoric makes him uncomfortable, but then he quickly brushed off the concern: “But this is the kind of personality that he has. Interestingly enough, it’s the exact kind of personality that a lot of people like because they’re sick of … the political correctness in this country, and they want to see something different.”
Michigan Republican Party Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, in a statement quoted by MLive, said: “I support our presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. Republicans across the country spoke, and they chose him to be our Party’s nominee.” Her spokesperson added that Trump is “articulating what many Americans are feeling.”
Asked by MLive about Trump, state Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said: “He’s not my favorite candidate… but again, ABC. Anybody But Clinton.” House Speaker Kevin Cotter gushed: “Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m prepared to vote for whomever our nominee is…. What I feel passionate about is we have to make sure a Republican takes back the White House, so I’ll be voting for whomever that nominee is.”
U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek told WLUC Trump is the “best guy” to change the way Washington works.
“At the national level of course, I’m endorsing Mr. Trump,” Benishek said. “I think he’s the best guy to change what’s happening in Washington, and we certainly need that. He’s going to shake things up, he’s not politically correct, he’s out there, he says what it is and I’m looking forward to the election.”
U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar told the Detroit News: “We need Republican leadership to move our country in a better direction, and I believe it’s important that we don’t allow Hillary Clinton to become our next president.”
State Sen. Jack Brandenburg, in his endorsement statement, stressed Trump’s “honesty” and candor. [Editor’s note: Trump has been found by non-partisan fact checkers to be the least honest presidential candidate of 2016.]
”We need people at this time to be very very honest with the American people,” Brandenburg told WDET. ”I think people collectively realize that Sanders… and Trump… really are conveying a heartfelt message that they want to help Americans.”
According to the Livingston Daily, State Sen. Joe Hune wrote on Facebook: “I appreciate his war with political correctness and the issues that he has brought forward. Donald Trump has forced the Republican Party to talk about illegal immigration and trade deficits, which absolutely must be addressed.” Hune also praised Trump’s “business experience” and “candor.”
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley endorsed Trump on the first night of the Republican National Convention, tweeting: “It is time for republicans to unify behind @realDonaldTrump”.
Former House Speaker Rick Johnson told MLive: “That’s what’s nice about Donald Trump. He does speak his mind. He says what he thinks, and that’s what we need,” he argues.
State Sen. Patrick Colbeck put his Trump support this way to the Detroit Free Press: “I think everyone is unified by the idea that we don’t want Hillary Clinton in the White House.”
Also according to the Detroit Free Press, former state Sen. Jason Allen, who is running in the 1st Congressional District, said he was “prepared to support Donald Trump as the nominee that Republican voters chose over Hillary Clinton.”
And in Michigan’s 10th Congressional District, former state Sen. Alan Sanborn, state Rep. Tony Forlini and businessman Paul Mitchell all said they will back Trump. Mitchell said: “Our policy positions do not have to align on every issue to recognize we are being poorly served by having the Democrats in the Oval Office next January.”
State Sen. Tom Casperson, running against Allen in the 1st Congressional District, called for unity in his endorsement of Trump, “because we cannot handle this country cannot handle four more years of President Obama’s policies. And, that’s what we’re gonna get if the other side gets in.”
Jack Bergman, Republican candidate for the 1st Congressional district and retired Marine lieutenant general, has refused to denounce Trump. Bergman was recently asked by a reporter whether he still supported Trump even after Trump insulted the Khan family. Bergman responded, “Well, he’s the Republican nominee the last time I checked. So you have a choice. You have a choice. As a pilot, I choose not to make my choices too early because the winds may change. They may change the runway on me. Or something might happen. So I’m going to watch what’s happening here over the next few weeks.”
State Rep. Brandt Iden was quoted by WWMT during the convention, before Trump’s speech: “I think they are going to come out more unified tonight, and I think we are going to see that it’s going to be a unified party. I think it is going to be a great speech, and we are going to move forward and win in November.”
And finally, perhaps the strangest endorsement so far has come from former state Rep. Chuck Moss, who is currently running for Oakland County Commission. In Dome Magazine, Moss argued that Trump is restoring America’s tradition of free expression.
“Donald Trump was the little boy who yelled that the Emperor’s immigration policy was ‘B.S.’ And everyone who felt silenced, suddenly looked around. Donald Trump went on to say more things that everybody was thinking, but which had been silenced by the Administration and enforced by a complicit P.C. media. And one by one, the villagers in the town square are saying ‘hell, yeah! That’s what we thought all along. Harry Potter is right, the Ministry is lying and the Emperor is naked.’
“Donald Trump stood up and said it, which is why he may well be our next President. If you don’t like that, don’t blame Trump. Blame the folks who for their own reasons silenced America’s once robust tradition of free expression. And blame those who should have had the courage to speak up, but didn’t.”
For the record, U.S. reps. Fred Upton, Bill Huizenga and Justin Amash are the only ones thus far to have the courage to speak up and refuse to support Trump.