Sen. Sherrod Brown likens Trump’s campaign to Nixon’s in 1968


By Rick Rouan - Akron Beacon Journal (TNS)



A pair of Ohio Democrats see President Donald Trump’s re-election playbook as something straight out of 1968.

This time around, though, they believe it won’t end well for the Republican.

Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Columbus, were asked during a conference call with reporters Wednesday to compare the protests that have erupted across the country in response to George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police to racial divisions in 1968.

That year, former Vice President Richard M. Nixon was the Republican nominee for president, running a “law and order” campaign that is now seen as code for more punitive measures against black people. Nixon narrowly won that election.

“I see this president thinking he can win re-election doing the same thing, and it ain’t going to work,” said Brown, who frequently draws comparisons between Trump and Nixon, who resigned in 1974 before he could be removed from office.

Trump has called for a more aggressive crackdown on protesters, saying governors who haven’t been able to quell unrest in their states are “weak.” As the protests began last week, he Tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Beatty said there are parallels between 1968 and 2020, but she and Brown were only teenagers at that point. She said she marched in her hometown of Dayton then, just as she joined protests in Columbus on Saturday.

“We’re in a different era of time and there are going to be different consequences for this president,” she said.

On Saturday, Beatty was caught in a wave of pepper spray as she joined protesters on Capital Square in Columbus. Since then, she said she has circulated a resolution among her congressional colleagues to declare racism a national crisis.

“When you push Joyce Beatty around you get pushed back harder. Just another recommendation for the Columbus police department,” Brown said.

Brown intends to introduce a Senate resolution declaring racism a public health crisis, as Democrats in the Ohio General Assembly also are trying to do.

He also is co-sponsoring legislation that he says would increase training for law enforcement on racial profiling and make federal funding for local law enforcement agencies contingent on the adoption of policies to prohibit racial profiling, among other changes.

“The protests around our state and around our country are an expression of fear and grief and frustration and anger,” Brown said during the conference call. “People are tired and they’re angry. It’s 2020 and nothing has changed it seems.”

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By Rick Rouan

Akron Beacon Journal (TNS)

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