Trump Has ‘Lost Moral Authority to Govern,’ St. Pete Mayor Says
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman issued the statement in response to President “Donald Trump’s recent defense of white supremacists and Confederate symbols.” Kriseman also criticized one of his opponents in the upcoming mayoral election, former Mayor Rick Baker, for not denouncing Trump.
ST. PETERSBURG – Mayor Rick Kriseman sharply criticized President Donald Trump for his response to Saturday’s (Aug. 12) violent clashes in Charlottesville, VA, that left one woman dead.
Since Saturday, Trump has been criticized for his delay in reacting and his failure to condemn neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and others on the alt-right for their part in the clashes and the death of Heather Heyer.
Today (Aug. 17), Kriseman added his voice to the crowd of critics. Kriseman’s statement comes two days after he removed a plaque commemorating Stonewall Jackson from the city’s waterfront.
He also took the opportunity to slam one of his opponents in the upcoming mayoral election, former Mayor Rick Baker, for failing to denounce Trump. This is not the first time Kriseman and his supporters have tied Baker to Trump.
“By defending symbols of hate and hate groups and referring to white supremacists as ‘fine people,’ Donald Trump has moved the presidency into uncharted territory and has lost the moral authority to govern our nation.
“Here in St. Pete, we are committed to being a progressive city that celebrates diversity. We will reject people and things that attempt to divide us or reopen old wounds. That’s why I wasted no time removing a Confederate marker and why I support the efforts of our neighbors in Tampa and communities across America who are fighting to remove offensive tributes to the Confederacy.
“It’s playing with fire to think that voters should ignore the racism and hatred coming out of Washington. Not once, not even one time, has Rick Baker denounced Donald Trump.
“As the leader of our city, it is up to me to stand up to and speak out against any elected official, including the president, who expounds bigotry and hatred, whose views are so contrary to those of our city, state and nation. It is not enough to simply state general opposition to disturbing views and rhetoric. A true leader stands up to, and calls out those who, like President Trump, engage in divisive conduct or speech or protect divisive organizations, like the white supremacists. To fail to condemn Trump for his defense of groups like white supremacists, is to side with them. I am proud of St. Petersburg, and the many engaged citizens who are committed to doing the same. Together, we will keep St. Pete special–a place on the right side of history, equality and justice.”
For information about Kriseman, go to krisemanformayor.com.
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