“Watch what we do, not what we say” was the infamous comment by Richard Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell. There’s no better example today than the red-carpet reception Pennsylvania Republicans are giving Donald Trump at the Plaza Hotel in New York tomorrow.
While the other Republican candidates for president are now saying that Trump has gone too far with his pledge to keep all Muslims from entering the country, Trump will be the headline speaker at a fundraiser organized by Pennsylvania’s Republican Party through an organization called the Commonwealth Club at the Plaza.
The link at top of the Club’s website advertises “2015 NYC with Donald Trump.” For $2,500 you can get your picture taken with Demagogue Donald, and for $1,000 you can buy a ticket to the luncheon where Trump will be the keynote speaker.
Refusing numerous calls to disinvite Trump—including this MoveOn petition kicked off by Keystone Progress—the Republican Party spokesperson said, “Each candidate has their own vision for the future, and it’s up to the voters to decide their preferred choice.”
A key beneficiary of the money raised off Trump’s popularity with Republicans will be Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Pat Toomey. Toomey won’t attend the event—he says he has a scheduling conflict—but he still will be the beneficiary of the campaign cash raised.
Just as the Pennsylvania Republicans want to profit off of Trump’s appeal to their voters, Republican presidential candidates who decry Trump’s proposal to block Muslims from entering the country continue their support for policies just a step away. As The New York Times wrote in an editorial:
The Republican rivals rushing to distance themselves from his latest inflammatory proposal—a faith-based wall around the country—have been peddling their own nativist policies for months or years. They have been harshening their campaign speeches and immigration proposals in response to the Trump effect. Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush want to allow only Christian refugees from Syria to enter the country, and Mr. Cruz has introduced legislation to allow states to opt out of refugee resettlement.
The Pennsylvania Republicans will not be the only Pennsylvania residents to greet Trump at the Plaza. Protesters from Pennsylvania will deliver a MoveOn petition with 11,000 signatures at 11:00.
“We circulated this petition because of Donald Trump’s outrageous and unconstitutional call to ban all Muslims from entering the United States,” said Keystone Progress executive director Michael Morrill. “Since the Pennsylvania Republican Party has not disinvited Trump, they are sending a message to Pennsylvanians, and all Americans, that they agree with Trump’s religious bigotry.”
New Yorkers are organizing a rally at noon at the Pulitzer Fountain outside the Plaza. The organizers of the rally say it will focus on people who have been targeted by Trump’s hateful rhetoric, including Muslim Americans and immigrants.
“We also will talk about a positive vision that goes beyond policing, beyond incarceration and beyond detention—a vision that’s stronger than what were fighting against,” said Lauren Ressler of the Responsible Endowments Coalition, who is helping organize the protest.
Republicans have no credibility when they decry Trump because his hateful rhetoric fills their campaign coffers. What they do means much more than what they say about Trump.