Trump’s ‘Cruel, Adolescent’ Attacks Are Putting Women Leaders In Danger

Topline

Citing her experience as the target of a violent kidnapping plot, which she’s alleged was encouraged by the Trump administration’s “dangerous” rhetoric, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer accused President Trump of putting political leaders, especially women, at serious risk in his pursuit of reelection.

Key Facts

“Every time the president ramps up this violent rhetoric, every time he fires up Twitter to launch another broadside against me, my family and I see a surge of vicious attacks sent our way,” the Democratic governor wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Atlantic. 

Whitmer said she was “not surprised” when, after the FBI announced it had foiled a months-long, multistate plot to kidnap and potentially kill her, Trump responded to a crowd at a campaign rally that chanted “lock her up” after he described Michigan’s Covid-19 restrictions as overly tight by saying: “lock them all up.” 

Whitmer denounced this, and other “cruel, adolescent attacks on women like Senator Kamala Harris,” as well as public-health leaders, that she says puts “leaders, especially women leaders, at risk.” 

Trump, behind in the polls in the final days of the election, has lashed out left and right with vicious attacks against Democratic politicians, the media and even top infectious diseases official Dr. Anthony Fauci, who the medical community and many senators strongly defended after Trump called him a “disaster” and weighed firing him earlier this month. 

Fauci, 79, said he has started receiving death threats about his handling of the pandemic, and now has to power walk with a security detail. 

Trump called Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) a “monster” after her October debate against Vice President Mike Pence, and has recently taunted multiple women as “crazy,” including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and NBC correspondent Savannah Guthrie, while using what some view as sexist language about “suburban housewives” during his rallies. 

Crucial Quote 

“Early on, before I realised it wasn’t politically correct, sorry folks, I haven’t been doing this too long, I said ‘the suburban housewife loves Trump,’” the president said during an October rally in North Carolina. “By the way, the women, they loved it … The only people that minded it? Those people there with the cameras.”

Key Background 

Trump has put the spotlight on “suburban women” frequently at his rallies over the past few weeks, begging “please like me,” because the polls show Democratic presidential Joe Biden commanding a strong lead over this voting bloc. A recent poll from the New York Times and Siena College show Biden leading by 23 points among suburban women in swing states, while Pew Research found suburban women nationally prefer Biden by 19 points. 

Further Reading 

“6 Men Charged In Months-Long Violent Plot To Kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer” (Forbes) 

“Gretchen Whitmer Accuses Trump Of Further Endangerment After ‘Lock Her Up’ Rally Chants” (Forbes) 

“The Plot to Kidnap Me” (The Atlantic)

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