President Donald Trump has the chance to show bitterly divided Americans that “on some matters partisanship” isn’t “as important as getting something done for the country,” American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Matt Schlapp said Monday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
Trump met with outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown and Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom — both Democrats — on Saturday as they surveyed the fire damage in California in an unusual act of bipartisanship.
At least 79 people have died so far from the so-called Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California’s history. More than 1,000 people are still missing and the wildfire has burned more than 142,000 acres of land.
Although Brown (pictured above far right) has been a frequent target of Trump’s on Twitter and vice versa, and although Newsom (above left) ran a campaign that Politico described as “the champion of California’s alternative to Trumpism,” the three men met and appeared together in a show of unity.
“Look, [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or another Democrat … will be leading the Democrats in the House. They’re going to be the majority party” following the November midterm elections, Schlapp noted to host Laura Ingraham.
And if Trump continues to push for bipartisanship where he can, “I think it would show the country that on some matters partisanship and what party you’re in — it just isn’t as important as getting something done for the country,” said Schlapp.
He also praised Trump for choosing last week to back the bipartisan First Step Act, which offers sweeping criminal justice and sentencing reform.
If passed, the bill would allow judges to use more discretion in lowering the sentences of nonviolent offenders and support increased rehabilitation efforts, among other actions.
Trump called on Congress to pass the bill, saying during a Wednesday White House speech that the bill “will make our communities safer and give former inmates a second chance at life after they have served their time.”
“Americans from across the political spectrum can unite around prison reform legislation that will reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption. So if something happens and they make a mistake, they get a second chance at life,” Trump said.
“Today’s announcement shows that true bipartisanship is possible,” he added.
But Democratic senators who tout themselves as criminal justice reform advocates did not appear with Trump at the White House.
“[Trump’s] exposing the people that have, in fact, been at the helm of this divisive rhetoric in this country,” Candace Owens, conservative commentator and communications director for Turning Point USA, said on “The Ingraham Angle” as well on Monday night. “I absolutely do believe that he can unite.”
Even Chris Hahn, a former aide to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and also a guest on the Fox News program, agreed that Trump “should do more to reach across the aisle.”
“I met the president before he was president. I found him very engaging and very charming. And I think that if he engaged more and didn’t … swing at every pitch thrown at him, I think he could do better,” Hahn said. “And I think he would do better as president. He could get more accomplished.”
With a few exceptions, Ingraham noted that Trump “seems to be projecting a different dimension of himself” over “the last few weeks.”
“Understanding now that he has a Democrat House and he has to contend with that, might President Trump be trying a new approach to governance?” Ingraham said. “Maybe, just maybe, the president has decided to modestly recalibrate his approach to his job and find places where both parties can agree.”
Schlapp said, “It must be tough to be the president because when he turns on his television set at night … and when he reads the paper in the morning, 90 percent of it is just an indictment and an attack on everything he is and everything he stands for.”
“I think he’s got to take it all and understand that the American people love his agenda. They want him to push hard,” Schlapp said, predicting that the president “would do the country a lot of good” if he used his leadership to push for bipartisan legislation.
Check out the video segment below: