TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The Republican Party is afraid of damage caused by US President Donald Trump in the wake of a deadly terrorist attack by a neo-Nazi sympathizer in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I have no idea where we go from here,” a veteran Republican strategist told the Hill on condition of anonymity on Saturday, calling the president’s failure to immediately condemn the white supremacists a “disaster.”
The president has come under criticism for blasting “both sides” of the Sunday clashes, in which a driver plowed into demonstrators protesting against white supremacists in Charlottesville, killing a young woman and injuring some 20 others.
A woman identified as Heather Heyer, 32, was killed and some 20 others were injured.
A 20-year-old Nazi sympathizer, identified as James Alex Fields Jr, was said to have been behind the wheel.
Anti-fascist protesters march on August 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by AFP)
The GOPers are, meanwhile, playing down Trump’s dismissal of a controversial alt-right figure, Steve Bannon, as the White House chief strategist.
“I don't think it does,” said former Republican National Committee communications director Doug Heye, when asked if Bannon's departure made a difference. “Nobody makes their decision about who to support based on the staff in the White House.”
He also added that the damage caused by Trump’s response to the attack would not be limited to African Americans and Hispanics only, describing the situation as “terribly frustrating.”
According to Republican strategist and pollster Whit Ayres, “Nothing has repealed the long-term demographic trends in this country, and nothing has changed the imperative for Republicans to appeal to a more diverse electorate if they hope to win national elections.”
“Trump managed to stitch together an electoral college majority while coming millions of votes shy of a majority of the popular vote,” he further noted.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton managed to win the popular vote by about 2.9 million votes, or around 2 percentage points, but Trump could secure the electoral college vote and finally win the White House.