One of the state’s top Republicans said Friday that President Donald Trump “mishandled” his response to a question at this week’s debate about white supremacists.
The president was asked by moderator Chris Wallace if he would condemn white supremacists. Challenged by the president to "give me a name" of a specific group, Democrat Joe Biden mentioned the Proud Boys, a far-right neo-Nazi group that has been blamed for violence at protest rallies in recent weeks.
Instead of denouncing the group, however, Trump said its members should "Stand back and stand by." He later tried to clean up his remarks.
State Sen. Bill Brady, a Bloomington Republican, said “we’re the party of Abraham Lincoln” and that “all lives are equal.”
“I thought he mishandled it completely, no question,” Brady said on WGLT’s Sound Ideas. “The president completely missed an opportunity to share the fact that Republicans do not stand for white supremacy and that we stand for equality.”
Several high-profile Republicans have chosen to endorse Biden, including former central Illinois Rep. Ray LaHood and Ohio’s John Kasich.
Brady, the Senate minority leader, will not be joining them.
“Absolutely not. You may not always agree with President Trump’s rhetoric. I don’t. You may not always agree with his tweets. I don’t. But what I do agree with the direction this country is heading, and the opportunity that the Trump administration, through changes in government, have provided for everyday men, women and children. I don’t think any president maybe has made as much progress in growing the economy as President Trump did, pre-COVID-19. I think he can do it again. I think Joe Biden will go back to the old Democratic playbook of tax, spend, regulate. And that’s not what this country was built on.”
Income tax change
Meanwhile, Brady again made the case against the constitutional amendment on the graduated income tax, which Illinois voters will decide this fall. Lt. Gov Juliana Stratton recently suggested that lawmakers might be forced to consider a 20% across-the-board income tax increase if voters don’t approve the shift to a graduated, or progressive, income tax.
Brady said Stratton’s “threat” was “indicative of the way in which this proposal is failing.”
“People are waking up and realizing this constitutional revision is a false promise, and they need to defeat it,” Brady said. “And then we need to go on and work toward sound budgetary policies and not threaten the public with a 20% increase.”
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