Montana Senator Jon Tester and President Trump don’t have a good relationship, as we know from when Tester’s mission was to destroy Rear Admiral Jackson’s nomination as Surgeon General.
President Trump went on to strongly support Montana’s Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat occupied by Tester in 2018. That was to be expected, given that the president is the top Republican in the land. Trump’s verbal digs at Tester, though, got the best of the flat-top coiffed Montanan. Now Tester is downright aggressively hostile toward President Trump, as he proved during his appearance on a morning talk show.
Tester was interviewed on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Host Joe Scarborough was leading up to getting Tester to comment on President Trump’s remarks about Rep. Ilhan Omar. He was waiting for Tester to attack Trump. Scarborough asked about Tester’s ability to get himself re-elected despite Trump’s opposition. He also cited Tester’s vocal criticism against Trump about racism in the past – most notably, Tester’s criticism of Trump in the aftermath of the Charlottesville rally. Tester said it’s best to call bad behavior for what it is – in this case, Tester calls Trump’s remarks “racist” – and then move on to talking about issues important to voters, like health care and border security. And you just have to “punch him in the face.”
“Well, I think you don’t take the bait that President Trump came out here. You say that what he has done is absolutely disgraceful for the country and call it for what it is — which is racism,” Tester responded. “Then you talk about things like high costs of health care, high costs of higher education. What you’re going to do on the southern border to help stop the situations down there.
“I think those — the kind of issues that really hit home, how you’re going to invest in infrastructure and how you’re going to pay for it, I think those are the issues that really will move the folks who will get you elected,” the senator continued. “I don’t think, even in states where Donald Trump won big, that it does you any good running away from Donald Trump. I think you need to go back and punch him in the face. I mean the truth is this guy is bad for this country.”
Montana is Trump country. He won the state by more than 20 points in 2016. Tester’s aggressive language is different than the attitude he wants to show to his supporters on Twitter, though. Interestingly, the clip the Twitter account features of his appearance on Morning Joe leaves out the “punch him in the face” comment. He sounds like he just wants to talk to folks about the important topics, while not running away from Trump.
On @Morning_Joe I said we should be able to disagree on policy without this hateful rhetoric, and we've got to call it out.
And then we need to keep talking about how we're going to make healthcare more affordable, invest in infrastructure, and bring down our debt. pic.twitter.com/euWjbXRM61
— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) July 18, 2019
I guess he assumes most Montanans don’t watch Morning Joe and didn’t watch his interview. It’s a punk move. Mr. Tough Guy threatens violence on television and then goes soft on social media. This is a prime example of why the pearl-clutching from those on the left about President Trump’s manner of speaking and sometimes crude delivery fall flat. The left engages in the same behavior. It is classic hypocrisy.