As GOP convention opens, Democrats go on the attack

CLEVELAND – Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, condemned likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s foreign policy proposals Monday, part of a coordinated Democratic attack on the opening day of the GOP convention.

Gallego, appearing with former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz,D-Florida, called Trump’s foreign policy proposals dangerous and divisive, pointing to a temporary ban on
Muslims entering the United States as a threat to national security.

“You do not make America safe again, both here and abroad, by tearing people apart,” Gallego said at the morning news conference.

Gallego also criticized Trump’s comments that the NATO security alliance was “obsolete” and his praise for leaders like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, adding that Trump would be the first president to “treat our enemies like allies and our allies like enemies.”

Wasserman Schultz said Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric is largely based on “bravado.”

“What Donald Trump says on national security is in-fact not believable at all. And it’s dangerous,” she said.

Arizona Republicans at the convention brushed off the comments.

“I think he’s going to be good for the world. I think he probably agrees with Ronald Reagan on peace through strength. He strengthens our military, and by doing that, he strengthens the world,” said Corky Haynes, an alternate delegate at the convention.

She said the criticisms came from what Democrats playing politics during the convention. Haynes said she had “no problem” with Trump’s comments praising Putin, saying that making the comments “doesn’t necessarily mean he agrees with him.” She also said that Putin was “respected by the people of Russia.”

Another Arizona alternate delegate, Julie Lind, said Trump had not been detailed enough about his foreign policy proposals for her to make a judgement on his foreign policy.

Lind, who is state adviser to the Arizona Teenage Republicans, said the Republican Party has a long history of people well-versed in foreign policy and she hoped Trump would take a lead for them in his conduct of foreign affairs. She pointed to Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, as one of those leaders
Trump could take cues from.

But Gallego noted Trump’s “gaul” in attaking McCain’s military service. Trump made headlines last year when he said McCain was considered a hero because he served years as a Vietnamese prisoner of war, but that he “likes people who don’t get captured.”

Gallego called Trump one of the most “alienating” Republican candidates that had ever been seen in Arizona, a fact that he said held hope for the first Democratic victory in the state since the 1996 presidential election.

But Strickland, in a tight senate race to unseat Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, pointed to the fact Ohio Republicans have been avoiding Trump.

“Here in the swing state of Ohio, the Republican leadership is avoiding Donald Trump. That ought to be a compelling message regarding what they think is going to happen in November,” Strickland said.