Tags: Orlando Terror Attack | orlando | terror | trump | hillary

After Orlando, Election Likely to Focus on Terror

Image: After Orlando, Election Likely to Focus on Terror
Obama ordered flags to fly at half-mast at U.S. Capitol after tragedy in Orlando. (AP)

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Monday, 13 Jun 2016 08:39 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Not long after President Obama called the Orlando massacre “an act of terrorism” Sunday and issued his latest strong admonition for stricter gun control laws, analysts began to ask whether terrorism would rise in prominence for November.

Also, will the tragedy that claimed 50 lives make a strong case for supporters of gun control?

As evidence of the killer’s ties to the ISIS and militant Islam are revealed, experts agreed, the issue of a harder line in fighting terrorism overtakes the case Obama and Hillary Clinton have long made for tougher gun control.

“The Orlando massacre will heighten American anxieties that they are no longer safe from terrorist attacks, lest they have forgotten this since 9/11,” said Donald Critchlow, director of the Center for Political Thought and Leadership at Arizona State University.

Critchlow, author of a new book on the Republican Party, noted how “after 9/11, we experienced no domestic terrorist attacks from jihadists under President George W. Bush. This has not been the case under President Obama.

"Americans are not blaming Obama for these attacks, but there is a strong mood that the unwillingness of Democrats, including Obama’s and Clinton’s, to label these attacks as Islamic extremist terrorism, is political correctness at its worse.”

He also pointed out that the stronger-than-expected challenge to Hillary Clinton to the left from Bernie Sanders “has forced Hillary Clinton to talk about income inequality and not the serious threat Islamic terrorism poses to America. As a result, terrorist attacks on American soil benefit Trump’s campaign, not Clinton’s.”

Former Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., past chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, agreed. “This administration has had a hands-off attitude regarding terrorism from day one and this is an angry wake-up call,” Linder told me. “It rebounds against the entire Obama national security apparatus.”

“Orlando focuses us on the war on terror and who is going to protect our homeland and borders,” said Chip Saltsman, campaign manager of Mike Huckabee’s presidential efforts in 2012 and 2016.

Some other political observers and analysts are not so sure that Trump and the Republicans gain exclusively from the post-Orlando fallout.

When I asked Michael Barone whether terrorism or gun control gained as a national issue, the nationally-syndicated columnist and co-author of the "Almanac of American Politics" told me: “both.”

Veteran election and polling analyst Jay O’Callaghan said that, in terms of the issues of anti-terrorism and gun control, “I think the Orlando incident will be a wash. It helps gun control advocate Hillary Clinton, but also raises the threat of Islamic terror which helps Donald Trump.”

The main benefit to Trump, O’Callaghan told me, “is it takes us off this ridiculous judge issue [Trump’s much-criticized reference to the ethnic heritage of the judge hearing a case involving the candidate’s Trump University].”

“Orlando's ISIS-inspired massacre may restore a focus to Islamic terrorist issues, but our ability to sustain that focus diminishes daily,” said David Pietrusza, historian and author of four much-praised books on presidential election years. “In part, we are simply and invariably distracted by celebrity gossip or the latest Donald Trump tweet or poll. In part, large segments of our media, academia, clergy, and political class live in terror of being termed Islamophobes. That's a very real aspect of the terror that confronts us.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
 

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Not long after President Obama called the Orlando massacre “an act of terrorism” Sunday and issued his latest strong admonition for stricter gun control laws, analysts began to ask whether terrorism would rise in prominence for November.
orlando, terror, trump, hillary
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2016-39-13
Monday, 13 Jun 2016 08:39 AM
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