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LGBT Orgs React To Supreme Court Decision To Hear Two Gay Marriage Cases

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NOTE — FOR MORE, READ: Breaking: Supreme Court To Hear Prop 8 And One DOMA Case

Just minutes ago, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear two iconic same-sex marriage cases that have been in the public eye for several years, California’s Prop 8 law and the case of Edie Windsor, a challenge to the constitutionality of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 that bans the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages.

LGBT organizations have released statements, which we are publishing for you in full, below. Stay tuned and refresh the page as we will update as soon as each weighs in.

New statements will be added to the bottom of the page.

HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN

MILESTONE FOR LGBT EQUALITY:

Prop. 8, DOMA Will Have their Day in Court

Supreme Court to hear constitutional challenges to discriminatory marriage laws

 

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today heralded the news that the Supreme Court would hear the Hollingsworth v. Perry case challenging California’s Prop. 8 and the Windsor challenge to the discriminatory ban on federal recognition of married same-sex couples known as the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

 

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin – who also co-founded the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which is the sole sponsor of the Perry lawsuit – released the following statement:

 

“Today is a milestone day for equal justice under the law and for millions of loving couples who want to make a lifelong commitment through marriage.  The passage of Proposition 8 caused heartbreak for so many Americans, but today’s announcement gives hope that we will see a landmark Supreme Court ruling for marriage this term.  As the Court has ruled 14 times in the past, marriage is a fundamental right and I believe they will side with liberty, freedom and equality, moving us toward a more perfect union as they have done in the past.

 

“Proposition 8 has been already been declared unconstitutional in Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Now the Supreme Court has an opportunity to do the same and send a resounding message of hope to LGBT young people from coast to coast that they have the same dignity and same opportunities for the future as everyone else.  I believe our cherished constitutional principles will win the day and that the court will uphold the fundamental right that all Americans can marry the one they love.

 

“We are also thrilled that the pernicious and ridiculously named Defense of Marriage Act will have its day in court.  I am confident that the Justices will find this law patently unconstitutional and the federal government will get out of the business of picking which marriages it likes and which it doesn’t.

 

“The real heroes today are the brave plaintiff couples who willingly put their lives on trial in order to secure protections for their families and others like them.  Our country owes a debt of gratitude to Kris Perry and Sandy Stier along with Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami, Edie Windsor and the rest of the couples, individuals and organizations that stood up to discrimination.  ThePerry case also showed that the old partisan divides are crumbling with the legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies coming together in arguing the case.

 

“With our wins at the ballot box last month and the fight for marriage equality reaching our nation’s highest court, we have reached a turning point in this noble struggle.  We will continue the fight until the promise of our Constitution is realized for every single person in every single corner of this vast country.”

 

FREEDOM TO MARRY

Supreme Court Will Hear CA Prop. 8
And DOMA Discrimination Cases in 2013

 

Washington, DC – Today the Supreme Court announced that it would take up the the case against California’s Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry, and one of several cases against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, Windsor v. United States.

Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, released this statement:

“By agreeing to hear a case against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, the Court can now move swiftly to affirm what 10 federal rulings have already said: DOMA’s ‘gay exception’ to how the federal government treats married couples violates the Constitution and must fall. When it comes to the whole federal safety net that accompanies marriage – access to Social Security survivorship, health coverage, family leave, fair tax treatment, family immigration, and over 1000 other protections and responsibilities — couples who are legally married in the states should be treated by the federal government as what they are: married.”

“Additionally, gay and lesbian couples in California – and indeed, all over the country – now look to the Supreme Court to affirm that the Constitution does not permit states to strip something as important as the freedom to marry away from one group of Americans.

“Wth the clock now ticking on Supreme Court rulings in 2013, it is more urgent than ever that we make the same strong case for the freedom to marry in the court of public opinion that our advocates are making in the courts of law. By winning more states and winning over more hearts and minds, we maximize our chances of victory in court, showing the justices that when they do the right thing, it will stand the test of time and be true to where the American people already are.”

 

TRANSGENDER LAW CENTER

SAN FRANCISCO – Transgender Law Center celebrates the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States today to accept review of two cases that have challenged the constitutionality of laws barring access to marriage for same-sex couples. The cases include Perry v. Brown, in which the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California’s Proposition 8, which prohibited same-sex couples from marrying in that state, is unconstitutional, and Windsor v. United States, in which the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. DOMA bars the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples.

“We are pleased that the court has agreed to decide once and for all whether these blatantly discriminatory marriage bans are permitted under our Constitution,” said Ilona Turner, Legal Director of Transgender Law Center. “These laws that unconstitutionally restrict access to marriage based solely on gender must be struck down. We are confident that the Court will stand with the slew of recent federal court decisions holding that both DOMA and Prop 8 are unconstitutional.”

“Marriage equality is an issue that affects many members of the transgender community,” added Masen Davis, Transgender Law Center’s Executive Director. “It helps all of us when the government gets out of the business of policing people’s gender and using gender to define who gets access to important benefits. Marriage equality is an important issue for the entire LGBT community.”

Frequently, whether a transgender person’s marriage is recognized as valid or not by the government depends on what state they live in, what medical procedures they’ve undergone, and whether or not an employer or insurer or family member challenges their marriage’s validity.

Continued Davis, “We know that marriage equality alone won’t solve all of the serious challenges that the transgender community faces. But the increasing recognition of marriage equality throughout the land will, by definition, lessen government scrutiny into what a person’s legal gender is, making it increasingly possible for all of us to live our authentic lives free from discrimination.”

Transgender Law Center joined other civil rights organizations in submitting friend-of-the-court briefs in both Perry and Windsor, arguing that gender-based marriage bans violate the Constitution.

 

OUTSERVE-SLDN

(WASHINGTON, DC) Army Veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson released the following statement in response today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to grant cert. in Windsor v. United States.

“The Supreme Court has rightly decided to address the constitutionality of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and we are confident that at the end of this process, this law – just like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – will be relegated to the dustbin of history where it belongs.”

In October 2011, OutServe-SLDN (then known as Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) filed landmark litigation on behalf of eight plaintiff couples challenging DOMA and other federal statutes that prevent the military from providing the same recognition, support, and benefits to all service members, veterans and their families. The case is currently stayed.

“The harm done to our brave service members and their families, and to our national security, by the Defense of Marriage Act is unconscionable. These are American patriots making the same sacrifices, providing the same service, and taking the same risks as their straight counterparts. They should not be treated as second class citizens,” said Robinson.

Robinson also congratulated the plaintiffs in Hollingsworth v. Perry, commonly known as the Prop 8 case, as well as the American Foundation for Equal Rights. The Court announced its decision to hear arguments in that case as well.

“The bravery of these plaintiffs and the tenacity of the American Foundation for Equal Rights and its founder Chad Griffin have been key catalysts in the movement we have seen across this nation on marriage equality. Today, we honor their work, applaud their leadership, and vow to keep up the fight until every American enjoys the freedom to marry under the law,” said Robinson.

 

FAMILY EQUALITY COUNCIL

FAMILY EQUALITY COUNCIL STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT DECISION TO REVIEW PERRY V. BROWN AND WINDSOR V. U.S.

 

Washington, DC  - (Dec. 7, 2012) – Family Equality Council today issued a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review the lower court ruling in Perry v. Brown – thefederal court case to overturn California’s Proposition 8 and Windsor V. United States which is a challenge to section III of the Defense of Marriage Act.

“The Supreme Court’s decision to review this case represents an historic and significant step forward in the fight for marriage equality for all American families, but especially the more than one million loving and committed parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender in this country who are raising more than two million children,” said Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler.

“While our families are already bound together by love, there is no denying that the freedom to marry will strengthen them,” said Chrisler.  “Denying some American families marriage also denies their children some of the basic protections they need in life as well as a sense of enduring security and stability.”

Chrisler added, “We know that according to the 2010 U.S. Census, one-quarter of all lesbian and gay couples throughout the United States are raising children.  We look forward to the Supreme Court’s decision and the day when parents in all states will be able to give their families the strong legal and economic foundation that only marriage can provide.”

 

GLAAD

SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW DOMA, PROP. 8

 

LOS ANGELES, CA – GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today responded to the Supreme Court’s historic decision to hear the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, as well as Edie Windsor v. United States, which challenges the constitutionality of Section 3 of the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act.’

 

GLAAD today also released profiles of couples, who plan to marry or have already married in California. Those profiles are available at http://glaad.org/marriage

 

“Today is a historic moment for our nation, equality and countless gay and lesbian couples, who simply want an opportunity to marry the person they love,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “Our momentum is great and our resolve is strong, with the Supreme Court now poised to affirm our Constitution’s core principals of liberty, dignity and equality for all.”

 

AFER:

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Proposition 8 Case
 High Court to Consider Marriage Equality for Gay and Lesbian Americans
Washington, DC – Today, the United States Supreme Court issued an order granting review in Hollingsworth v. Perry (formerlyPerry v. Brown), the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8.  Enacted in November 2008, Proposition 8 eliminated the fundamental freedom of gay and lesbian Californians to marry.  With today’s order, the Supreme Court will consider whether Proposition 8 violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
The Perry case was filed on May 22, 2009, in Federal District Court on behalf of two California couples, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo.  On February 7, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a landmark ruling upholding the historic August 2010 decision of the Federal District Court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
The Supreme Court also granted review in United States v. Windsor, a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  Enacted by Congress in 1996, DOMA nullifies the marriages of gay and lesbian couples for all purposes of federal law.
“This case is about the fundamental constitutional right of allAmericans to marry the person they love.  The plaintiffs we represent are two loving couples who, like millions of other gay and lesbian Americans, are being denied the right to marry and the right to be treated with equal dignity and respect under the law,” said Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson.  “The Supreme Court’s decision to grant review in this case illustrates the national significance of marriage equality, and brings us closer to the day when every American will be able to equally enjoy the fundamental freedom to marry.”
“Fourteen times the Supreme Court has stated that the freedom to marry is one of the most fundamental rights—if not the mostfundamental right—of all Americans,” said Plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies.  “As we have said from the very beginning of this case, the denial of that fundamental right seriously harms gay and lesbian Americans and the children they are raising.  It serves no legitimate state interest.  We are ready to defend our victories before the Supreme Court, where we will urge the Justices to reaffirm our Constitution’s central promises of liberty, equality, and human dignity.”
The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) is the sole sponsor of the Perry case.
“Today is a milestone day for equal justice under the law and for millions of loving couples who want to make a lifelong commitment through marriage,” said AFER co-founder Chad Griffin.  “Proposition 8 has already been declared unconstitutional in Federal District Court and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Now the Supreme Court has an opportunity to do the same and send a resounding message of hope to LGBT young people from coast to coast that they have the same dignity and same opportunities for the future as everyone else.  I believe our cherished constitutional principles will win the day and that the Court will uphold the fundamental right that all Americans can marry the one they love.”
“Gay and lesbian couples across the nation are one step closer to achieving the full and equal right to marry denied to them by discriminatory laws like Proposition 8,” said Bruce Cohen, president of AFER’s Board of Directors.  “Today marks the final chapter of a journey that we started four years ago, and I am thrilled to see that marriage equality is finally within our grasp.”
“This is the moment we have been fighting for since we first filed this case,” said AFER executive director Adam Umhoefer.  “In just the last few years, America has witnessed extraordinary momentum toward marriage equality for all.  Multiple federal court decisions and a majority of Americans recognize that it is past time that the nation redeem our Constitution’s promise of liberty and equality for all by ensuring that every American has the right to marry the person they love.  Make no mistake, with two lower court victories and the Constitution on our side, we will prevail.”
On July 30, 2012, the proponents of Proposition 8 asked the Supreme Court to review the February 2012 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed the historic August 2010 judgment of the Federal District Court that struck down Proposition 8.  The Ninth Circuit held:
“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for ‘laws of this sort.’”
On June 5, 2012, the full Ninth Circuit denied Proponents’ request for an eleven-judge panel to rehear the case, known as rehearingen banc.
Having granted Proponents’ request for review, known as a petition for a writ of certiorari, the Supreme Court will now receive written briefs from the parties and hear oral argument by April 2013.  A decision on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 is expected by the end of June 2013.
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News

AOC Slams Anti-Biden Efforts: ‘My Community Does Not Have the Option to Lose’

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U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most-powerful voices in the House Democratic caucus, re-asserted her support for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as some congressional Democrats along with pundits, pollsters, and strategists have called on the President to quit his campaign.

The 34-year-old progressive New York Democrat in a nearly hour-long live video recorded after midnight declared her opposition to those proposing an “open convention,” where the Democratic nominee fro president would be decided, despite the 2024 primaries which Biden and Harris won. She blasted the numerous Democrats anonymously calling for Biden to end his campaign, and slammed those who have little to lose who appear to be behind the movement to oust the President, and those who have already concluded the Democrats cannot win.

“I will say, what upsets me is people saying, ‘we will lose.’ ”

“For me,” she continued, before taking a long, thoughtful pause, “I don’t care who – to a certain extent – I don’t care what name is on there. We are not losing.”

READ MORE: House Dem Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Hispanic Caucus Campaign Arm Rally Behind Biden

“I’m about you, but my community does not have the option to lose. My community does not have the luxury of accepting loss in July,” she said before stressing, “of an election year.”

“Like, my people are the first ones deported. They’re the first ones put in Rikers,” she continued, referring to the infamous New York City jail. “They’re the first ones whose families are killed by war. And this is horrific. I’m not here to like say everything is amazing. Okay, I’m not here to say that like, oh, you know, to lie to people. What I am here to say is that we need to live, we need to make decisions in the conditions that we have before us.”

“Most of the Ocasio-Cortez’s nearly hour-long Live session focused on the risks of forcing Biden to step aside, including potential legal challenges from Republicans and ballot access deadlines in various states. ‘I have not seen a scenario, an alternative scenario, that I feel does not set us up for enormous peril,’ she said,” Business Insider reported.

“If you’re falling out of a coconut tree, God bless you,” she said. “If you’re riding with the President, God bless. I’m not an open-convention person. I think that is crazy.”

READ MORE: ‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez also made headlines by pointing out that she believes if President Biden were to step aside, Vice President Kamala Harris would also be targeted by some of the same Democrats trying to oust the President.

“I’m just going to say it: If you think that there is consensus among the people who want Joe Biden to leave… that they will support Kamala, Vice President Harris, you would be mistaken,” she added. “They are interested in removing the whole ticket.”

To those Democrats leaking opinions or being quoted anonymously, she had a few strong words.

“That’s b*llsh*t. If you have an opinion, say it with your chest and say it in public,” she said. “That’s a bunch of horsesh*t.”

Her Instagram Live remarks have over 80,000 likes and 6000 comments.

What her full video and the short clip above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop the Attacks’: 1400 Black Women Leaders Demand DNC Support Biden and Harris

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House Dem Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Hispanic Caucus Campaign Arm Rally Behind Biden

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Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, in line to become Speaker if Democrats retake the House in November, Friday morning told reporters the presidential ticket has not changed and he believes President Joe Biden is capable of doing the job and winning re-election.

Jeffries’ remarks come amid calls for President Biden to exit the re-election campaign, largely from the “Democratic machine,” including pundits, strategists, and pollsters, along with some Democratic members of the House and Senate.

“President Biden, as I’ve said repeatedly, is our nominee,” Leader Jeffries said in Brooklyn Friday morning, according to video (below) posted by WNBC-TV managing editor Steven Bognar. “He has a tremendous track record of success. He’s one of the most accomplished American presidents in our history. And, he has the vision, I believe the ability, the capacity and the track record to make a case to the American people that will result in us being successful in November.”

“I’ve answered that question repeatedly over the last three weeks,” Jeffries also told reporters, as NBC 4 reported. “I’ve answered that question repeatedly, my answer has not changed.”

Also Friday morning the congressional arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus announced its endorsement of the President’s re-election bid.

READ MORE: ‘Stop the Attacks’: 1400 Black Women Leaders Demand DNC Support Biden and Harris

“The fundraising arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Bold PAC, has endorsed President Joe Biden for re-election, the Biden campaign said in a statement on Friday,” Reuters reports.

Forbes reported last week, “Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., chair of the influential Congressional Black Caucus, expressed support for President Joe Biden, bolstering Biden’s argument that his base is still behind him amid calls for him to step aside in the race.”

Also last week, The Washington Post reported, “Black House Democrats embrace Biden at another critical juncture.”

“The importance of the roughly 60-member Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) — which includes [Rep. James] Clyburn and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) — was on display Monday night as Biden met with the bloc in a Zoom call, the first with a group of elected lawmakers. The message that many Black Democrats planned to convey to Biden, according to the people familiar with the CBC’s thinking: We will stick by you as we always have.”

READ MORE: ‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

Congressman Clyburn, who was instrumental in Biden winning the Democratic nomination in 2020, and the election, “has said publicly that he is firmly behind Biden but open to embracing Vice President Harris filling the role if Biden steps aside,” The Post reported.

But while last week the paper noted, “not a single Black House Democrat has defected,” Friday morning one member of the CBC did. U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX) became the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to break ranks, as Punchbowl News’ Max Cohen reported.

MSNBC reports on Friday a total of six members of the U.S. House and one U.S. Senator called on President Biden to exit the race.

Watch video of Democratic Leader Jeffries from Friday below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Democratic Machine’ Strategists Behind Move to Oust Biden: Ex-Congressman

 

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‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

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The fourth and final night of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee on Thursday is being panned by pundits, political strategists, grassroots voters, and even some in the press, as many express shock and condemnation over Donald Trump’s presidential nomination acceptance speech, or, as one critic put it, the “clinically-insane Trump speech.”

Chris Wallace, the former long-time Fox News anchor turned CNN commentator declared he was “disappointed,” and suggested Trump’s 90+ minute speech (transcript) helped President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign.

Trump’s speech got off to a good start, Wallace said, but after awhile the GOP nominee, “couldn’t keep up the act, and so we started hearing about ‘crazy Nancy Pelosi,’ and cheating on elections, and talking about Biden. Frankly, it was a long speech, it was a rambling speech, it was a speech by an older man and I couldn’t help but think that the people who are going to be happiest tonight are not the people at Trump headquarters, but the Democrats, maybe at Biden headquarters, maybe at the headquarters of the people who think they are going to replace Joe Biden, but Jake, we have ourselves a presidential campaign again.”

READ MORE: ‘Stop the Attacks’: 1400 Black Women Leaders Demand DNC Support Biden and Harris

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale reported Trump delivered at least 22 “falsehoods” during his remarks, including that when he left office, “the world was at peace.”


Even The New York Times, which critics say has often ignored or whitewashed Trump’s worst remarks and weaknesses while focusing on President Biden’s – to the point of calling for Biden’s exit but not Trump’s – ran this headline overnight, invoking the ex-president’s 2017 inauguration speech: “Trump Struggles to Turn the Page on ‘American Carnage’.”

“On the last night of the G.O.P. convention on Thursday, Donald J. Trump promised to bridge political divides, and then returned to delighting in deepening them,” the paper of record reported.

Meanwhile, conservatives – former Republicans and current, Never-Trump Republicans – led the criticism on social media Thursday night and into Friday morning.

The Lincoln Project’s Stuart Stevens, a top political strategist and former Republican, panned Thursday night’s GOP convention: “A man who beat his wife introduced a Republican nominee found liable of sexual assault the judge called rape. And the Republican Party thinks it’s great.”

“I’ve watched thousands of political speeches in thirty years in the business. This was by far the worst,” observed Mike Madrid, the Latino GOP political consultant and Lincoln Project co-founder, calling it “an unmitigated disaster.”

“Is anyone else seeing this with their own eyes?” Madrid asked on social media, referring to Trump’s speech. “Maybe, just maybe, this is what independent voters saw at the debate.”

“The [media’s] gonna call for his withdrawal after witnessing this obvious cognitive decline right?” Madrid also asked.

READ MORE: ‘Democratic Machine’ Strategists Behind Move to Oust Biden: Ex-Congressman

He summed it up in one word: “Fiasco.”

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Denver Riggleman declared: “Media should demand Trump step down based on mental issues and incoherence.”

Fred Wellman, the former Lincoln Project executive director had a few words for top Democratic donors dissatisfied with President Joe Biden: “Hey Democratic big donors! Shut up and get back to work. Jesus. We are going to beat this loser like a drum.”

“The View” co-host Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, a Republican who opposes Donald Trump wrote: “If this clinically-insane Trump speech does not get Democrats out of their defeatist doldrums, and focused and energized around electing their nominee -instead of tearing him down- I don’t know what will.”

She added, “And you all are screaming that Biden has dementia….?”

Former Republican Rick Wilson, an award-winning political TV ad expert and Lincoln Project co-founder decimated Trump’s speech and invoked the nominee’s top campaign chiefs:

“Trump’s speech was, objectively, the single worst convention acceptance speech in modern history. It was a ramblefuck disaster from start to its long-delayed finish, and nothing is going to make it better. You know. I know it. LaCivita and Wiles know it. Utter disaster.”

Former Republican U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh added, “And one more thing: I don’t want to hear anyone in the media talk about Biden’s cognitive decline without also talking about Trump’s cognitive decline. Thanks.”

Republican Sarah Longwell, a political strategist and publisher of the conservative news and opinion site The Bulwark, commented throughout Trump’s speech.

“What would [you] say this speech is about?” she asked toward the end. Minutes earlier she remarked, “Rambling man.” And: “I dunno, this weirdo seems pretty beatable.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Have to Stop This Psychopath’: Conway Launches PAC Focused on Trump ‘Mental Instability’

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