Democrats and liberals are beginning to worry that images of rioting, particularly in Kenosha, Wisc., are beginning to take a toll, giving President Donald Trump and Republicans an electoral boost.
TheHill.com quoted two unidentified Democratic Senate aides in a story Friday saying the riots that began with the death of a Black man in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day, along with the accompanying demand to “defund the police,” appear to be having an effect.
“Republicans are very wisely pouncing on this moment and using that (defund) language that emphasizes everything wrong with what progressives do,” said an anonymous Senate aide. “I would imagine it’s a potential problem.”
The comments echoed the remarks made Tuesday by liberal CNN show host Don Lemon, known for his harshly criticism of Trump, who implored Democrats and their presidential nominee Joe Biden to address the mayhem.
“The rioting has to stop,” Lemon said. “It’s showing up in the polling. It’s showing up in focus groups. It is the only thing right now that is sticking.
“I think this is a blind spot for Democrats. I think Democrats are ignoring this problem or hoping that it will go away. And it’s not going to go away. The problem is not going be fixed by (election day), but what they can do, and I think Joe Biden may be afraid to do it, I’m not sure, maybe he won’t, maybe he is, he’s got to address it. He’s got to come out and talk about it.“
Portland, Oregon, has seen three consecutive months of protests and riots, largely in the name of the Black Lives Matter group. BLM protests have also occurred in Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, New York and Washington, D.C., among other cities.
Three days of rioting ensued following the police shooting in Kenosha of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Thirty four fires were reported and 30 businesses destroyed, until 1,500-plus National Guard troops were deployed.
Another anonymous Senate Democratic aide told The Hill that the Republicans have used the rioting to persuade potential swing voters, including inviting Mark and Patricia McCloskey to speak Monday at the Republican National Convention.
The McCloskeys were charged with felony use of weapons by St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner for standing outside their home with a rifle and pistol when Black Lives Matter protesters marched through their gated community in June.
“There’s no question in my mind it’s their most potent issue. It gives Republicans the best chance to get who they need back in the tent,” the aide said. “That’s why they put that couple from St. Louis in the convention.”
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