By now, most of you have heard that Roseanne Barr’s career is all but over–and not a moment too soon. The ratings bonanza she reaped from reprising her role in her eponymous 1990s smash hit was not enough to overcome the furor from a bizarre and outrageous Tuesday tweetstorm in which she called senior adviser Valerie Jarrett an “ape” and suggested Chelsea Clinton was married to one of the right’s favorite boogeymen, George Soros. Within hours, ABC had canceled “Roseanne,” and Roseanne’s agent had also dropped her.
But in the long run, an interview that took place 48 hours earlier may wind up being more cause to give Donald Trump diehards heartburn. A Republican Senator from one of the reddest states in the nation bluntly stated that he doesn’t want his kids to look up to Trump.
On Sunday, Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma sat down with MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt to discuss a number of topics. Hunt wanted Lankford’s take on fellow Republican Jeff Flake’s blistering criticism of Trump at Harvard Law’s commencement earlier in the week. Watch Lankford’s reaction here.
In case you missed it, Flake held nothing back, saying that Trump had “debased” the presidency–and an “utterly supine” Congress” had largely allowed him to get away with it. Lankford was slightly more restrained, but gave a strong indication that he was reaching his limit with Trump.
“I have been one that have said several times I don’t consider the president a role model for my kids. I don’t want my kids to speak the way that he speaks or to make some of the choices. And that has been the challenge for quite a bit of time to say, ‘how do you balance this out between policy and personal behavior, in the way he has his own unique style? I don’t speak that way. I don’t tweet that way. I don’t interact with people who way. I don’t treat my staff the same way he treats his staff.”
Wow. Pretty blistering stuff. And it’s especially so when you drill down further. Lankford is the junior Senator from a state that has only supported a Democrat for president once since 1948, and where not a single county has voted for a Democrat since 2000. 2016 was no different; Oklahoma went for Trump by a punishing 65-29 margin.
It’s one of the few states where Trump still walks on water. A recent Morning Consult poll found 53 percent of Sooners approve of Trump’s performance while only 43 percent disapprove–a near-perfect reversal of national polls which show Trump struggling to get into the 40s. In other words–while Lankford may not consider Trump to be a role model, a good number of his constituents apparently do.
What’s even more telling is that Lankford is no RINO. He has a lifetime rating of 88 from the American Conservative Union. So you have a very conservative Senator from a very conservative state–and yet, isn’t exactly willing to put on a MAGA hat.
And yet, Trump’s behavior, plus the revelations about his affair with Stormy Daniels, aren’t enough to make Lankford reconsider endorsing Trump’s bid for reelection. He said that his main concern is “what we’re going to try to get done at the end of the day.”
So let’s get this straight. Lankford doesn’t think Trump is a role model, but isn’t concerned enough to pull back on supporting him in 2020. Sounds like somebody’s trying to have it both ways.
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