Atlanta mayor accuses Kemp of ‘putting politics over people’ with mask lawsuit
Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Georgia governor Brian Kemp’s lawsuit over the city’s mask mandate shows he is “putting politics over people.”
Speaking to the Today show this morning, Bottoms said, “This filing of a lawsuit is simply bizarre, quite frankly.” The Democratic mayor noted several other Georgia cities have required residents to wear masks, but the lawsuit is aimed at Atlanta and specifically Bottoms.
Bottoms added, “I don’t think it happenstance that this lawsuit came the day after Donald Trump visited Atlanta and I pointed out that he was violating city law by not having on a mask at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.”
Kemp has strongly urged Georgians to wear masks, and the Republican governor even launched a statewide tour to encourage residents to cover their faces and take other precautions to limit their risk of contracting coronavirus. But Kemp said Bottoms’ executive order overstepped her authority.
When specifically asked if she believed Kemp was motivated by politics, Bottoms replied, “I absolutely do. He is putting politics over people.”
Mike Pence is visiting Wisconsin today, marking the vice president’s latest in a series of trips to swing states in recent weeks.
According to the Trump campaign, the vice president will visit Ripon, Wisconsin, to deliver “a major address today where he will outline the dangers of socialism and the extreme Sanders-Biden agenda in the birthplace of the Republican Party.”
Trump has similarly sought to paint Joe Biden as an extreme socialist in an effort to tie him to politicians like Bernie Sanders and congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
However, the president’s strategy does not seem to be working, likely in part because voters generally view Biden as more of a centrist than Trump.
According to a Politico/Morning Consult survey released earlier this month, only 17% of registered voters consider Biden to be more liberal than most Democrats, and 23% of voters in that poll said they viewed Biden as a moderate, compared to only 9% who said that of Trump.
The Cook Political Report has shifted the ratings of 20 House races in Democrats’ favor, as a series of national polls released this week showed Trump trailing Joe Biden by double digits.
Cook’s Dave Wasserman has more on the ratings change:
President Trump’s abysmal polling since the pandemic began is seriously jeopardizing down-ballot GOP fortunes. We may be approaching the point at which dozens of House Republicans will need to decide whether to cut the president loose and run on a ‘check and balance’ message, offering voters insurance against congressional Democrats moving too far left under a potential Biden administration. …
Republicans began the cycle hoping to pick up 18 seats to win the majority back. Now they’re just trying to avoid a repeat of 2008, when they not only lost the presidency but got swamped by Democrats’ money and lost even more House seats after losing 30 seats and control two years earlier. For the first time this cycle, Democrats have at least as good a chance at gaining House seats as Republicans on a net basis.
So even if Trump can somehow manage to hold on to the White House, it’s looking less and less likely that he will be governing with a Republican-controlled Congress, as he did at the start of his first term.
If Democrats can hold on to the House, it will make it much more difficult for Trump to pass any major legislation after winning reelection.
US again breaks daily coronavirus record as Trump approval drops
Good morning, live blog readers. This is Joan Greve in Washington.
Coronavirus cases in the US continue to break records, and a new poll out this morning indicates Donald Trump is losing support as a result of the alarming trend.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, 77,255 new cases were reported in the US yesterday, marking the first time the country’s daily caseload has surpassed 70,000.
Meanwhile, a new poll out this morning shows Trump’s approval rating on his handling of coronavirus continues to deteriorate.
The Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 38% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, down from 46% in May and 51% in March. Disapproval has simultaneously climbed to 60%, up from 53% in May and 45% in March.
Trump is clearly aware he is in trouble, and his decision this week to shuffle his campaign staff shows he is worried about his re-election bid.
But if the president cannot change some minds on how he has responded to the pandemic, he may not have much of a path to victory.