While President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have had a sometimes contentious relationship, remarks in recent days appear to mark a new low, as W. James Antle III writes for the Washington Examiner.
According to Antle, the latest clash stems from Pelosi’s reaction after Trump confirmed he had been taking an experimental coronavirus treatment, leading some to wonder if there is any chance left for bipartisanship in a deeply divided election year.
“Morbidly obese, they say”
Asked over the weekend for her take on the president’s reported regimen of hydroxychloroquine and zinc, Pelosi advised against the treatment.
“I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by scientists — especially in his age group and in his, shall we say, weight group,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday, according to The Hill. “Morbidly obese, they say.”
Although some viewers supported her remark, others saw it as an example of fat-shaming, as the BBC noted. Trump was asked about the comment at an event at the White House on Tuesday and initially declined to provide a reaction.
“Well, I don’t respond to her,” he said, according to a White House transcript. “I think she’s a waste of time.”
A few minutes later, however, the president turned his attention back to Pelosi while replying to a reporter’s unrelated question.
“These people are sick,” Trump said. “Pelosi is a sick woman. She’s got a lot of problems, a lot of mental problems. We’re dealing with people that have to get their act together for the good of the country.”
“She’s got a lot of problems”
As Antle noted, Democratic strategist Jim Manley, who served as chief spokesman for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), described the Trump–Pelosi relationship in 2018 as the “most important” one in D.C. throughout the remainder of Trump’s first term.
Based on their back-and-forth comments this week, however, many Americans are concerned that dysfunction in that relationship could spell trouble for Americans at large.
Behind the scenes, reports earlier this year indicated the two leaders had not spoken directly in five months.
Nevertheless, the nation continues to face a multifaceted crisis caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As citizens are left to watch as an uncertain future plays out, they must hold out hope that leaders on both sides of the aisle can put aside their differences long enough to perform their duties on behalf of the American people.