There were drop outs and a new entry this week in the presidential campaign.
Joe Walsh, a one-time tea party congressman,announced intentions to seek the Republican party’s nomination. Walsh served Illinois’ eighth congressional district during President Obama’s administration. The 57-year-old talk radio host called President Trump a child that is unfit for office. Walsh also used words such as “nuts,” “erratic” and “incompetent”to describe Trump.
On the other side, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination. Neither man had qualified for next month’s DNC debate in Houston.
Ten Democrats have qualified for the Houston debates. They are: Former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker, former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, venture capitalist Andrew Yang and former Housing & Urban Development secretary Julian Castro.
“I think this is a moral moment in America,” Booker, 50, told supporters in Portland, Oregon Sunday night. “This is a moment of moral clarity. This election is not about a referendum on one guy in one office, this election is a referendum on us. On who we are and who we must be to each other.”
Meanwhile at the White House, Trump said he was “very honored” to receive the endorsement of the Log Cabin Republicans. In existence since 1977, Log Cabin Republicans are a conservative LGBT political organization.
“I’ve done really well with that community,” Trumpsaidlast week before leaving for the G7 Summit in France. “Some of my biggest supporters are of that community and I talk to them a lot about it. I think I’ve done very well with that community.”
Trump’s comments were in response to a question by Washington Blade reporter Chris Johnson, who asked if the president was “OK” with his administration taking steps to make it easier to discriminate against LGBT people in the workplace.
Trump pivoted to his Log Cabin endorsement and brought up the name of Peter Thiel, the gay billionaire entrepreneur and co-founder of PayPal, as proof the community is “with me all the way and they like the job I’m doing.”
Booker, 50, is a pro-LGBT candidate and New Jersey’s junior senator. He said forget about Trump.
“Donald Trump wants this election to be all about him,” Booker said. “We make this mistake as Democrats if we make this election about what we are against instead of what we are for.”
During Sunday evening’s visit to the Riveter, an event venue constructed by women, Booker said Trump is a distraction. He said instead of focusing on outrageous tweets or hype such as buying Greenland, Democrats should be worried about cuts to programs like Planned Parenthood and food stamps.
“Beating Donald Trump is the floor, it is notthe ceiling,” Booker told supporters. “It gets us out of the valley but does not get us to the mountain top,” Booker said.
Booker said he is looking forward to the debates, but minor differences on health care policy will not turn an election in Democrats’ favor.
“This election is going to turn on the gut, and the heart and the spirit and the soul of this nation,” Booker said.
ABC News is moderating the debates, Sept. 12-13.