Fmr. Senator: Dems Should Be Trump’s ‘Loyal Opposition,’ ‘Not MSNBC’

While appearing on MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle on Tuesday, former Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli complained that members of his own party were not denouncing President Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and even took the liberal media to task for seizing the role of the political opposition.

When anchor Stephanie Ruhle asked, “What can the Democratic Party really do?,” Torricelli responded: “What you’re doing. The loyal opposition in America is not the press, with all due respect, it’s the Democratic Party.” He went on to add that objections to the president’s foreign policy should “come from the Democratic Party, not MSNBC.”

 

 

Ruhle did not agree with Torricelli’s assessment: “But, Bob. Both Democrats and Republicans have been silenced by a bully. The only group that hasn’t been is the press.”

The retired lawmaker’s fellow panelist, CNBC contributor Ron Insana, jumped in by citing an oft-quoted warning about those who did not stand up to the Nazis:

Silence is complicity, Stephanie, I mean this is the problem. And historically that has been the problem when people say, “You know, first they came for this group and we did nothing. Then they came for this group and we did nothing. And ultimately they come for everybody.” I’m not saying that that’s where we’re going, but silence is absolutely complicity. And so, the press is not –

Ruhle interrupted: “But he's neutered them! He’s hijacked his own party and they’ve allowed it to happen.” Insana added: “He’s gas-lighted everybody, too. And that’s a problem.”

The fact that Ruhle seems unwilling to relinquish her role as Trump’s opposition is very telling. It’s reflective of the attitude of many of her media colleagues.

Here is a transcript of the June 12 exchange:

9:44 AM ET

(...)

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Where’s the GOP, Bob? Where are other government leaders who understand history and understand consequences? The GOP is silent and who’s the man standing next to Trump, whether it’s in Canada or in Singapore? You’ve got John Bolton. So help me understand what the rest of the party’s thinking.

FMR. SEN. ROBERT TORRICELLI [D-NJ]: Well, how about where are both parties?

RUHLE: Oh, there you go.

TORRICELLI: The President of the United States just went to an unscripted summit with North Korea, unilaterally gave away American exercises. We’re now undermining these sanctions. North Korea now has established itself as a permanent nuclear power, a nation with 100,000 political prisoners. Where’s the Democratic Party on the human rights aspect of this? Where’s the Republican Party establishment on national security?

RUHLE: But what can the Democratic Party really do?

TORRICELLI: What you’re doing. The loyal opposition in America is not the press, with all due respect, it’s the Democratic Party. Questions about national security, the competence of the administration, preparation, whether or not we’re abusing our allies, whether or not we’re breaking our standing commitments. They come from the Democratic Party, not MSNBC.

RUHLE: But, Bob. Both Democrats and Republicans have been silenced by a bully. The only group that hasn’t been is the press.

RON INSANA [CNBC CONTRIBUTOR]: Silence is complicity, Stephanie, I mean this is the problem. And historically that has been the problem when people say, “You know, first they came for this group and we did nothing. Then they came for this group and we did nothing. And ultimately they come for everybody.” I’m not saying that that’s where we’re going, but silence is absolutely complicity. And so, the press is not –  

RUHLE: But he's neutered them! He’s hijacked his own party and they’ve allowed it to happen.

INSANA: He’s gas-lighted everybody, too. And that’s a problem.

(...)


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