Chad’s Morning Brief: Eric Holder Says the Shooting of Trayvon Martin Was Unnecessary, Abbott Talks About His Unique Perspective, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of July 16, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or with the radioPup App.
1. Holder Speaks Out on Zimmerman Trial (link)
With the DOJ considering bringing civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, one would think the Eric Holder speaking out about the trial would be wrong. Then again, this is Eric Holder we are talking about. Holder didn't say what the DOJ would do, but you can sort of read between the lines I think.
Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday called the death of black teenager Trayvon Martin "tragic" and "unnecessary," but gave no hints whether the Justice Department will bring civil rights or hate crimes charges against shooter George Zimmerman in the wake of his acquittal on state murder charges Saturday.
"We are...mindful of the pain felt by our nation surrounding the tragic, unnecessary shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida last year – and the state trial that reached its conclusion over the weekend," Holder said, according to a prepared text of his remarks in a previously scheduled speech to a Delta Sigma Theta convention in Washington. "As parents, as engaged citizens, and as leaders who stand vigilant against violence in communities across the country, the Deltas are deeply, and rightly, concerned about this case. The Justice Department shares your concern – I share your concern – and, as we first acknowledged last spring, we have opened an investigation into the matter."
In discussing the racially charged case, Holder came close to reprising his 2009 speech calling the U.S. "a nation of cowards" on racial issues—a statement which earned Holder a rebuke from the White House. The attorney general used somewhat more muted rhetoric Monday, but his message was essentially the same: that Americans need to confront racial divisions in the country more directly.
"Independent of the legal determination that will be made, I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally-charged issues that this case has raised. We must not – as we have too often in the past – let this opportunity pass," Holder told the black sorority.
The attorney general referred to a "necessarily difficult dialogue" and praised Martin's parents for their calls for calm despite the anger that has followed the jury verdict.
"Even as we embrace their example and hold them in our prayers, we must not forego this opportunity to better understand one another and to make better this nation we cherish," Holder said.
Holder did seem to indicate that some type of stereotyping, or at least a misunderstanding, led to the shooting.
"We are resolved, as you are, to combat violence involving or directed at young people, to prevent future tragedies and to deal with the underlying attitudes, mistaken beliefs and stereotypes that serve as the basis for these too common incidents. And we will never stop working to ensure that – in every case, in every circumstance, and in every community – justice must be done," he added.
I will have a lot to say about this on the show today. I believe that this government is trying to rally support to go after Zimmerman even though there are no signs that Zimmerman was motivated by race. They will do this by continuing to flame racial tensions and by making comments that the shooting was a national tragedy.
It wasn't. It was a tragedy for the Martin family, but not for the nation. At the end of the day, Trayvon Martin assaulted another individual and that is what led to him being shot.
More on this during my show today.
2. Abbott (link)
Attorney General Greg Abbott doesn't really want to be compared to Governor Perry during this election cycle. In Houston, Abbott discussed what separates him from others.
Speaking a day after declaring his candidacy for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott said Monday that he’s “not into the comparison game,” in response to questions about whether he is more conservative than Gov. Rick Perry. But he did say that he would bring a different perspective to the office if he were elected.
In a series of interviews with news outlets following a campaign stop at a South Houston barbecue restaurant, Abbott said that as someone who uses a wheelchair, he can relate to Texans’ physical and emotional challenges, and that he could help them overcome adversity.
He also talked about his appreciation for the state’s diversity. His wife, Cecilia, is the daughter of a mother of Hispanic descent. Without offering any specifics, Abbott said that years of being surrounded by the Latin culture have given him a new outlook “that builds on common principles.”
Abbott added that his experience working as a judge who is used to taking several viewpoints into consideration would also lead him to approach state issues in a unique way.
Still, Abbott and Perry share much of the same political philosophy. I expect that Abbott will soon lay out more of his vision for Texas.
3. Perry Back for 2016? (link)
Will Governor Rick Perry be back for 2016? He thinks America believes in 2nd chances according to the Washington Post.
Perry announced last week that he would not seek a fourth full term in 2014. That surprised almost no one in Texas. He has served longer than any governor in Texas history. What does surprise many here and around the country is that his early exit in the 2012 race only served to whet his appetite for another campaign for president.
The day after his announcement last week, Perry sat in the beautifully restored governor’s mansion near the state Capitol and talked about the state of the Republican Party and his future. Toward the end of our interview, I asked him how his lousy introduction to the national stage would affect his chances if he were to run again. His response: “You mean in the way Bill Clinton’s introduction was bad?”
He was referring to Clinton’s infamous and interminable nomination speech for Michael S. Dukakis at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. I noted that Clinton’s moment was one speech (however bad) at someone else’s convention, as opposed to a series of weak performances in debates by a declared presidential candidate.
“Listen,” he said. “America’s been a country of second choices.” Did he mean second choices or second chances? “Both,” he said. “Second choices and second chances. . . . If one performance or a series of performances pretty much blackballs you, then it does. But I don’t think that’s what this country’s all about.”
Perry believes he has a story to tell the country and will spend some of his remaining days as governor trying to deliver it to a national audience. He believes that his calling card for a possible second presidential campaign is the vibrant Texas economy. “This isn’t an accident anymore,” he said. “It’s not a fluke.”
Perry is fond of citing the statistic that 30 percent of all the jobs created in the United States over the past decade were created in Texas, and he thinks he deserves some of the credit. “I actually have a blueprint that’s working pretty well,” he said. “Whether I run for president or not, I think it’s very important for this country to have an open and honest discussion about blue state versus red state politics, for people to really think about how is the tax policy, how is the regulatory policy, how does this legal environment in my state compare to another state.”
As of right now, I believe Perry is leaning towards running.
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