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Wednesday, January 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opinion >  Guest Opinion

Kathryn A. Lee: What’s McMorris Rodgers’ thoughts on Trump, party?

Special to The Spokesman-Review

In her position as chair of the House Republican Conference and, especially, as the highest ranking woman in the House, I have been waiting to hear Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ thoughts on the candidacy of Donald Trump.

On Super Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated, “If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party … they must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry. This party does not prey on people’s prejudice.”

The candidacy of Donald Trump has made me think about my parents. My late father was a lifelong registered Republican in Pennsylvania. He was an economist, and served on President Richard Nixon’s Consumer Advisory Council, then was appointed the council’s chair by President Gerald Ford. My father also served on the President’s International Trade and Investment Policy Commission.

My mother, also a lifelong Republican, is still living and is 90 years old. I asked her if she would vote for Donald Trump. She replied, “Heavens! I haven’t lost my mind yet!”

My question for Rep. McMorris Rodgers is this: Is Donald Trump the face of the Republican Party?

Trump has said of Sen. John McCain, “He is not a not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured. Okay?”

Is this the face of the Republican Party?

Trump has said, “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength.”

Is this the face of the Republican Party? (I was in Beijing the day after the lethal government crackdown. I’ll never forget it.)

Trump has said, when asked if he has ever asked for God’s forgiveness, “I am not sure I have. I just go on and do a better job. I don’t think so … When I drink my little wine … and have the little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking forgiveness… .”

Is this the face of the Republican Party?

Trump has said, “I’ll tell you what we’re going to do, right? We get greedy, right? Now we’re going to get greedy for the United States, we’re going to grab and grab and grab.”

Is this the face of the Republican Party?

Trump has said, “Twenty-six thousand unreported sexual assaults in the military - only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?”

Is this face of the Republican Party?

Trump has said, “When Mexico sends its people … They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Is this the face of the Republican Party?

In March 2013, the Republican National Committee released a report analyzing the 2012 election. That report stated, “We need to campaign among Hispanics, black, Asian and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too.” A co-chair of the project and GOP strategist stated the party “needs to do better with women.”

Three years after this report, is Donald Trump the face of the Republican Party?

I would like to know what Rep. McMorris Rodgers thinks. If my father were still living, I don’t think he would recognize the party to which he was loyal. My mother certainly does not recognize it.

Kathryn A. Lee, Ph.D., J.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Whitworth University. This column does not represent the views of Whitworth University.

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