Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear spoke with columnist and editorial cartoonist Ted Rall about the source of Trump’s troubles and what he may be able to do to turn things around.
A new poll from the SSRS independent research company indicates that Trump has a 38 percent approval rating among respondents, with 59 percent of Republicans "strongly approving" of Trump — a drop from 73 percent in February.
"This is a president whose support, by historical standards, is definitely eroding at a rapid rate," Rall said. "We are now looking at a president that has this remarkable situation of controlling both Houses of Congress, not having been found guilty of anything, and yet, based on issues of temperament alone, is sinking as fast as Richard Nixon did after the Watergate scandal."
Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, sitting in for host Brian Becker, agreed that many of Trump’s issues are of his own creation, but pointed out that most of US mainstream media has been hostile to Trump, "not on the basis of his extremely right wing policies, necessarily, but because he’s 'unpresidential' and has besmirched the office of the presidency which they held in such high regard."
Agreeing that most US media, with the exception of conservative outlets like Breitbart and Fox News, have been "extremely hostile" to the president, Rall said, “There’s no denying that you can’t really govern this country with the continuous hostility of the media after you."
He suggested that dubiously sourced stories accusing Trump of colluding with Russia to sway the 2016 election could be "eating away at his poll numbers among voters who are working 50 hours a week and maybe don’t have a lot of time to carefully read between the lines of every article to say 'hey, wait a minute, there’s not a whole lot there.'"
Smolarek pointed out that centrist Republicans will be going head-to-head against their pro-Trump counterparts in upcoming primary elections, and asked the cartoonist, "Do you think that the establishment Republicans are going to break with Trump in a profound way, or will pro-Trump primaries upset whatever unity is left within the Republican Party?"
"Certainly we’re seeing the Republican establishment breaking from Trump in a big way," Rall said, noting that veteran Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is a longtime critic of Trump and "really got his revenge when he cast one of the deciding votes against the repeal of Obamacare."
Rall posited that "the mainline Republican Party is rejecting the Donald Trump organism into this petri dish that is called the Washington Beltway. If I were looking to score major points and I were in the Trump White House, I would be pushing hard on the infrastructure program that he promised that had wide bipartisan support, that everyone agrees is needed and would create a lot of economic activity."