Demcoratic presidential candidate Michael Bennet said Sunday that Donald Trump will not be able to coast to re-election on the strength of the U.S. economy alone, and will have to answer for his “war with American tradition” while in office.
“I don’t think it’s been much better, Dana. I think it’s been what it was: It’s been fine, it’s been good,” the Colorado senator said of the economy during an interview with host Dana Perino on “Fox News Sunday.”
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“So it has improved, just as it’s improved from 2009 when Barack Obama took over,” Bennet continued. “What we don’t need — in my view, I think — is a president who’s so at war with American tradition.
“We don’t need a president who doesn’t believe in the rule of law. We don’t need a president who doesn’t believe in freedom of the press. We don’t need a president who doesn’t believe in the independence of the judiciary. We don’t need a president who believes he’s above the law, that he can do by executive order what Congress doesn’t do.”
Bennet’s broadside followed the release Sunday of an ABC News/Washington Post poll that showed Trump enjoying the highest approval rating of his presidency, with 44 percent of Americans approving of his overall job performance. The survey also showed that 51 percent of respondents approve of Trump’s handling of the economy.
But Bennet argued that those favorability numbers don’t negate Trump’s widely criticized posture toward authoritarian strongmen, and charged that if Obama had conducted himself on the world stage in a similar manner, the former president would have been savaged by conservative media.
“What amazes me is the stuff that he does — whether it’s coddling a dictator in North Korea, or laughing with Putin about Russia’s attacks on our democracy — that’s stuff that if Barack Obama did one of it, he would have been indicted 24 hours a day on Fox News, and President Trump is applauded,” Bennet said.
Bennet also accused Trump of existing “way outside of the mainstream of conventional American political thought,” and insisted that the incumbent commander in chief “needs to be a one-term president, whether the economy is doing well or not doing well.”