Ahead of his visit to the state on Friday, the editorial board of one of Maine’s largest newspapers has called on President Trump to resign.
The Portland Press Herald cited Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and accused him of fanning the flames of the civil unrest sweeping the nation in the wake of the killings of George Floyd and other Black people at the hands of police.
“You have never been a good president, but today your shortcomings are unleashing historic levels of suffering on the American people,” the editorial said.
The editorial, published on the paper’s website and in its print edition on Friday, came the same day Trump was scheduled to make a visit to a manufacturing facility in the Maine town of Guilford that is producing swabs needed for testing of possible coronavirus patients.
“We’re sorry that you decided to come to Maine, but since you are here, could you do us a favor? Resign,” the paper’s editorial board wrote.
The town of Guilford is situated in a congressional district that could be key to Trump’s hopes of retaking the White House in November: Maine is one of just two states where electoral votes are not allocated on a winner-take-all basis. In 2016, Trump was able to peel off a single electoral vote from Hillary Clinton by winning the state’s second congressional district.
The visit also has sparked backlash from Maine’s Democratic governor, Janet Mills, who pleaded with Trump to tone down his rhetoric in a statement Friday. She told him in a call with the nation’s governors this week that she was concerned his visit could spark additional protests and “cause some security problems for our state.”
In the context of the unrest and death caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the editorial called on Trump to follow the example set by President Nixon, who, facing impeachment, said he would resign to allow the country to begin healing.
The editorial urged Trump to ask himself: “Can this country take five more months like the last five?”