Tags: Elijah Cummings | Trump | Lewis

Rep. Elijah Cummings: Trump Should Call Lewis, Talk Things Out

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Monday, 16 Jan 2017 12:14 PM

The back and forth between President-elect Donald Trump and Rep. John Lewis is "unfortunate," Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings said Monday, and he wishes Trump would "go big," call Lewis, and work matters out.

"My father,who only had a fourth-grade education and was a former sharecropper had a saying: 'big can't get you as small has got you,'" said the Democratic lawmaker during an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

"You just can't do this. I would hope that the president-elect would, today, pick up the phone, put down the Twitter stuff, and just give John Lewis a call."

Lewis, continued Cummings, "is indeed a hero. The 40 some members of the Congressional Black Caucus wouldn't be in the caucus and probably not in Congress if it were not for people like John Lewis who put their lives on the line for us."

Over the weekend, Trump accused Lewis of being all talk and no action and suggested he should concentrate on his "crime infested" congressional district, which includes Atlanta.

The words offended many of Lewis' fellow lawmakers because of his stature as a civil rights icon, while also outraging many of the representative's constituents for his slam on their communities.

"I would hope that the president-elect would go big, pick up the phone, and that would be on Martin Luther King's birthday, a celebration day," said Cummings.

Lewis has said he won't attend Trump's inauguration Friday. Many other Democratic lawmakers are also boycotting the event, but Cummings hasn't decided if he'll stay away.

"I tell my constituents not to concentrate on who we are fighting against but what we are fighting for, and so I try to concentrate on those things," said Cummings. "I represent 700,000 people so I have to figure that one out. But I want to see what happens in the next day or so."

Cummings said he heard Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Monday, and thinks he could have been a bit stronger.

"I think that he can play a role in bridging that gap between John Lewis and the president-elect," said Cummings. " But something has to be done. We cannot continue to go down this road."

The issue is bigger than just the election, continued Cummings, as many of the nation's agencies are being threatened, along with voting rights, and President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick was blocked for 10-11 months.

"I would say to you, president-elect, I'd be happy to meet with you at any moment but we have work to do," said Cummings. "The American people want us to get to work for them and lift them up.

"If you want to deal with prescription drugs and reducing the prices, I'm here with you. If you want to deal with healthcare for all, I'm here with you."

In other matters, Cummings said he, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren have been working on reforms to prescription medication prices for years, and he said "hallelujah" when he heard Trump calling price reforms.

"I believe in my heart he wants the American people to do well," said Cummings.

"I'm here perhaps to move forward on the things we can agree on. Those things that go to our values and go against my morals, you know, we are going to have a problem with, but there are things that we can agree on."

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The back and forth between President-elect Donald Trump and Rep. John Lewis is "unfortunate," Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings said Monday, and he wishes Trump would go big, call Lewis, and work matters out.
Elijah Cummings, Trump, Lewis
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2017-14-16
Monday, 16 Jan 2017 12:14 PM
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