Former Vice President Al Gore (D) said Monday that President Donald Trump is "putting his knee on the neck of American democracy" by "tampering with" the United States Postal Service ahead of the November general election, as Democrats and Republicans spar over nationwide mail-in voting amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
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Speaking with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Gore said of Trump, "On the postal service, this is an act of desperation, and Americans understand, Anderson, that during a pandemic there are lots of older voters and voters of all ages with a pre-existing condition who worry that they can't breathe safely standing in line to vote.
"So in effect," he continued, "by tampering with the postal service, [Trump] is in effect putting his knee on the neck of American democracy and trying to make it impossible for people to vote by mail."
Gore's analogy sparked outrage on social media, with several Twitter users condemning the former vice president for attempting to exploit the death of George Floyd to make a political point. Floyd died while in custody of Minneapolis police in late May, after an officer was caught on camera kneeling on his neck for several minutes. Floyd's death sparked riots nationwide.
In reaction to Gore's comments, Fox Business Network's Charles Payne replied, "Apologize right now. This is such an asinine, insensitive stretch of the imagination and unnecessary attempt to be provocative. Its wrong on so many levels."
Apologize right now. This is such an asinine, insensitive stretch of the imagination and unnecessary attempt to be… https://t.co/ZznBIaH6Db— Charles V Payne (@Charles V Payne) 1597683334.0
Last week, the postal service warned nearly every state in the U.S. that the agency could not guarantee mail-in ballots can be delivered in time to be counted for the Nov. 3 election. The USPS also endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, while accusing the Trump administration of taking "steps" to "undermine" it.
According to The Hill:
President Trump at first said he would shoot down any funding to the postal service intended to increase mail-in voting. But he later shifted, saying he would consider signing such a bill if Democrats made other sacrifices in the coronavirus relief package.
Reuters reported the President Trump on Monday denied trying to undermine the USPS' ability to handle ballots, telling reporters, "We want it to run efficiently, run good. We want to make it run for less money, much better, always taking care of our postal workers."
The president tweeted, "The U.S. Post Office (System) has been failing for many decades. We simply want to MAKE THE POST OFFICE GREAT AGAIN, while at the same time saving billions of dollars a year for American Taxpayers. Dems don't have a clue! @USPostOffice911"