Horowitz: Corker Sounds Alarm We Should All Heed

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Rob Horowitz, GoLocalProv MINDSETTERâ„¢

Rob Horowitz
In the wake of the dust-up created by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly calling President Trump a “moron’’, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)  sounded an alarm about the potential danger to our national security created by Trump’s performance in office—a stark warning that demands our attention. Corker stated that members of Trump’s national security team, such as Tillerson, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly are “those people that help separate our country from chaos.”   Corker sounded a similar--- if not quite as pointed--note when he criticized Trump soon after Charlottesville:" The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful.”

Senator Corker’s warning should be taken seriously. After all, he is not a bomb-throwing partisan Democrat intent on scoring political points against a president of the opposing party; he is the Republican Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, widely respected on both sides of the aisle and known for measuring his words carefully.   He was considered by President Trump for the post of Secretary of State and has a truly informed and up close view of the interactions between Trump and his national security team.

Given the growing tensions with North Korea and the possibility President Trump will take action this week that could begin to unravel our Nuclear Deal with Iran, Trump’s chaotic approach to foreign policy combined with his refusal to do the essential work of learning about the details and the context of these different flashpoints is particularly problematic.  To put it simply, as Corker warns, leaving the President to his own devices could result in disaster.

As James Mann, a long-time observer of national security teams, writes in the most recent edition of the New York Review of Books, this ups the importance of the so-called “adults in the room.”   Whether we agree or disagree with Kelly, McMaster, Mattis or Tillerson, these are intelligent men of demonstrated maturity and expertise.   More to the point,  they are our “Thin Blue Line.”  We must count on them to curtail the immaturity and impulsiveness of President Trump, who every day demonstrates his unfitness to be Commander in Chief.

This weekend Trump predictably attacked Corker in a series of tweets that actually made the Senator’s point for him.  Trump falsely said that Corker decided not to run for re-election because Trump refused to back him, when it has been widely reported that Trump had repeatedly told him that he would endorse him and had even called him after his decision to try to change his mind.   Corker’s  tweet in response was perfect and it unfortunately, rings all too true: “It's a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

That was the point of Corker’s warning—one that we all ignore at our peril.

 

Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island

  • Gina Raimondo 

    RI Governor 

    "Rhode Island is making strong progress to provide our people with the education and job training they need to be successful and to expand access to affordable, quality health care to virtually everyone in our state. 

    President Trump's budget betrays Rhode Islanders by giving huge tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest Americans while drastically reducing federal funding for vital programs that create jobs, raise wages, and protect low-income Americans. 

    Even as we analyze President Trump's budget in the coming days to determine its specific impacts on Rhode Island, I appreciate the members of Rhode Island's Congressional Delegation for their leadership and advocacy, and I join them in calling on their colleagues in Washington, D.C. to stop the Trump administration from making massive cuts to health care, public schools, affordable housing, and other programs that Rhode Islanders rely upon."

     
  • Jim Langevin 

    U.S. Congressman

    “In March, President Trump released a budget outline that I strongly condemned for its drastic cuts to programs that help everyday Americans. Unfortunately, the President’s full budget proposal continues these harmful policies by gutting programs that invest in our economy, create jobs and provide crucial assistance to families across the country. 

    This proposal slashes funding for education, food assistance and health care for low-income seniors, children and people with disabilities. It makes cuts to worker training, environmental protection, and investments in medical research and advanced manufacturing. These are not mere luxuries, but programs that make meaningful differences in the lives of Rhode Islanders. 

    Congress must reject this cynical and misguided budget. Instead, we should work together in a bipartisan manner, as we did on the recently passed 2017 funding bill, to find a balanced approach to funding priorities that will support families, promote economic growth and provide for our national security.”  

     
  • David Cicilline

    U.S. Congressman

    “If a budget is a statement of your priorities and values, then Donald Trump’s budget shows he doesn’t understand the challenges facing honest, hardworking Rhode Islanders. This is a budget written by the wealthiest Americans for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans. But it’s a setback for the middle class. It makes life harder for anyone who’s trying to punch a ticket to the middle class.”

    Donald Trump has already proposed a huge tax cut for billionaires. But the budget he released today says everyone else is on their own. This budget eliminates hundreds of millions of dollars for job creation. It zeroes out funding for workforce training and good-paying manufacturing jobs in Rhode Island. And it makes it even harder for young people to succeed by cutting teacher training, eliminating afterschool funding, and making it harder to pay off student loans.”

    This budget does nothing to address Rhode Island’s crumbling infrastructure. It eliminates the TIGER grant program, which is critical to supporting local infrastructure projects like the new commuter rail station in Pawtucket. And it cuts funding for public transit by $928 million.”

    And most worrisome of all, this budget makes our towns and cities less safe. It actually cuts funding for firefighters. It cuts billions from the EPA and other resources to protect the water we drink and the air we breathe. And it slashes $978 million from the Army Corps of Engineers – meaning Rhode Island will be less prepared for hurricanes and have fewer resources to protect the quality of our waterways.”

    Plain and simple, this is not a budget that any Member of Congress should be comfortable supporting. Along with my colleagues in the House Democratic Leadership, I will do everything I can to reverse these devastating cuts and shape a budget that invests in the future of our country and puts honest, hardworking families first.”

     
  • Sheldon Whitehouse 

    U.S. Senator

    “This budget is reckless, plain and simple. The President proposes massive cuts to Medicaid, breaking yet another campaign promise. He seeks to decimate the federal government’s central command in the battle against the opioid crisis affecting communities from Burrillville to Westerly. He pursues tens of billions of dollars in cuts to student loans and loan forgiveness programs.

    His plan would slash funding for research into life-saving cures; lay waste to endowments that support Rhode Island’s world-class cultural institutions; hamstring the EPA so big polluters can poison our air and water; and weaken NOAA, sapping critical resources for coastal economies like Rhode Island’s. The list goes on.

    These senseless, irresponsible choices serve one purpose: to pave the way for tax cuts for the very wealthiest.  The good news is that this extremist proposal will go nowhere in the Senate. I look forward to moving past this political stunt of a budget and working on one the American people will support.”

     
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