- The Washington Times
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

President Trump renewed a call Tuesday night for voter ID in the U.S., pointing to examples of Democrats pushing to allow non-citizens to vote.

Campaigning in Tampa, Florida, for his endorsed GOP primary candidates for governor and Senate, Mr. Trump said Democrats nationwide are “lousy politicians” who embrace “horrible policies.”

“In some states, Democrats are even trying to give illegal immigrants the right to vote,” the president said. “We believe that only American citizens should vote in American elections, which is why the time has come for voter ID.”

He asserted, “if you go out and want to buy groceries, you need ID.”

In San Francisco, illegal immigrants are now eligible to register and vote in school board elections. Officials in Boston also are considering allowing non-citizens to vote.

League of Women Voters President Chris Carson rejected the president’s argument.

“The idea that voter ID laws strengthen our democracy is as absurd as the idea that you need photo ID to buy groceries,” she said. “Voter ID laws suppress the vote and reduce the turnout for underrepresented communities who have less access to photo IDs. The League of Women Voters opposes such laws and works to expand access to the ballot for all eligible voters.”

The president referred to his efforts to get Congress to approve more funding for a border wall, and the prospect of a partial government shutdown in the fall over the issue.

“We’re going to have tremendous border security that will include the wall,” he said. “We may have to do some pretty drastic things, but we’re going to get it. The Democrats are not voting for what we want to do. They’re not allowing our values to take place in our country.”

Mr. Trump visited Florida to campaign for Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is running in the Aug. 28 GOP primary for governor against former congressman and Florida agriculture commissioner Adam Putnam. The president also was stumping for two-term Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is campaigning to defeat Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

The president blasted Mr. Nelson as someone who voted against tax cuts and “puts criminal aliens before American citizens.”

“I live a lot of time in Florida,” said Mr. Trump, who owns a resort in Palm Beach. “The only time I see Bill Nelson is five months before every election. You see him at parties. We have to make sure Rick Scott wins, and wins big.”

The president lampooned life in Washington, saying before he was elected, he didn’t know anyone in the nation’s capital and never spent the night there.

Now, he said, “I know the wonderful people and I know the scum.”

He said if Hillary Clinton had been elected president, “our country would be going to hell.”

In his hour-long speech, Mr. Trump also predicted that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh will be confirmed by the Senate, and defended his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to seek denuclearization. The president didn’t mention recent reports that North Korea has resumed construction of missile sites, but he said, “There’s been no missiles or rockets flying over Japan. I think it’s going to work out very well. No tests, no rockets flying.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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