A group of prominent Democrats convened on a conference call Monday to lament the Donald Trump presidency, remarks timed to bracket the kick-off of the Republican National Convention.
U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, who served as President Bill Clinton‘s Secretary of Health and Human Services for eight years, blasted Trump for having “taken away a woman’s right to choose, undermined public education” and “ripped children from families at the border.”
“This President is totally disconnected,” Shalala added.
The Congresswoman said Trump “bankrupted our cities and states,” and through his “reckless payroll tax elimination,” would do the same to Social Security and Medicare.
“It’s time for him to go,” Shalala said.
Gun safety activist Fred Guttenberg, meanwhile, focused his remarks on how the RNC would distort the reality of gun violence.
One of a number of people driven to activism on both the right and the left in the wake of the Valentine’s Day 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Guttenberg focused on how Republicans would say that what happened at Parkland was “about anything but guns.”
“They can turn around and scream and blame anybody they want,” Guttenberg said, but, he added, easy access to guns is to blame for the death of his daughter and others.
Jacksonville doctor Jennifer Cowart, best known for opposing the Jacksonville iteration of the RNC, touched on the President’s pandemic pratfalls.
“I was deeply concerned with the last-minute decision to move the convention to Jacksonville,” Cowart noted.
Cowart and other doctors signed a letter denoting concerns with the convention, which was pulled from Jacksonville, but not before highlighting what she called the “chaos and disregard for public health” at the heart of the Trump administration.
The Democrats’ attempt to counter-program the RNC comes as several speakers hail from the Sunshine State.
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and another Parkland father, Andrew Pollack, speak Monday night. On Tuesday, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi speaks, as will Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez.
Additionally, Sen. Joe Gruters, who chairs the Republican Party of Florida, is slated to second the President’s renomination later Monday morning.