I think it’s worth noting that Oklahoma’s most well-known supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump—Gov. Mary Fallin—didn’t say anything publicly about his latest controversy until right before Sunday’s debate.
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) October 8, 2016
Trump, as we all know, was caught on a tape recorded some 11 years ago making vulgar and bragging comments about sexually assaulting women. The tape became public last week, prompting even more prominent Republican leaders to withdraw their support from the candidate who heads the GOP ticket going into the Nov. 8 general election.
Here’s part of Fallin’s statement, according to a Sunday media report:
Both of our nation’s presidential candidates are very flawed and have made mistakes. I am disappointed and offended by the comments made by Mr. Trump 11 years ago. His comments about women were totally unacceptable. I hope he uses this debate to show his sincerity with his earlier apology and takes the opportunity to demonstrate he has the character and leadership skills to be president. In the end, I trust the American people to make the right decision. America is still the greatest nation in the world.
Well, Trump had no apologies Sunday night in the presidential debate. He does not apologize in any real sense in terms of personal awareness for anything, ever. That’s how fascism works. Dictators always lie.
As more and more people all across the political spectrum express their outrage over Trump’s remarks, many of his longtime detractors are grateful and some maybe with too much of “it’s-about-time” attitude. Trump’s outrageous comments and sordid conduct have been on display for years, of course, but partisan politics creates strange unities and myopic thinking.
Stopping Trump from becoming president is too important to waste time on “told-you-so” jubilation. This is a genuinely serious time in our country’s history. On Sunday night, Trump actually promised to put his opponent Hillary Clinton in jail if he’s elected president. The dictator lies, jails people. That’s fascism.
Fallin’s silence for so long on the issue was deafening. She had been an unquestioning Trump supporter for months and she was supposedly even considered by the Trump camp for the Republican vice presidential slot. More importantly, she’s Oklahoma first female governor, and although she had no duty or mandate to speak for all women here, her take on Trump’s comments will be widely shared in a state not known for treating women very well.
More than 150 senior Republicans have withdrawn their backing for Donald Trump https://t.co/PYRKpjhdmb
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 9, 2016
The Oklahoma Republican Party has indicated it continues to endorse Trump even though its communications director has resigned after its chair declined to issue a statement withdrawing the organization’s support for Trump.
The chair, Pam Pollard, did issue a statement condemning the taped remarks, but reiterated the organization’s support for Trump. Here’s some of what she said, according to a media report:
I think the comments of Donald Trump were repugnant. Even though this was 10 years ago there is still no excuse for his behavior. He has asked the nation for forgiveness and said he is a different man than he was that many years ago.
The argument that Trump is a “different man” than when he made the vulgar remarks comes with little to no evidence. One could argue his entire campaign has been mostly based on offensive and controversial remarks aimed at minorities and women in order to inflame the sexist and racist instincts of his particular base of voters. His celebrity persona and ego have morphed into hateful lunacy, and he continues to do damage to the Republican Party.
Fallin, you may recall, endorsed Trump back in May with these comments:
Our nation wants change, and Donald Trump has led a movement across the nation calling for improving the economy, strengthening our military and reforming health care and immigration laws. He’s also shown that politicians just can’t do ‘business as usual anymore’ and the status quo is unacceptable.
She also made the rather bizarre remark back in July that Trump is “trying to campaign as a racial healer.” This is a comment about a man who once said he wants to ban Muslims from entering the country and who once infamously said:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
As an article in The Washington Post pointed out in response to the comment, “Data on immigrants and crime are incomplete, but a range of studies show there is no evidence immigrants commit more crimes than native-born Americans.”