Led by President-Elect Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress have become more outspoken in recent days over the growing number of Democrats in Congress who have said they won’t show up at Friday’s swearing-in of Donald Trump, now totaling over fifty members.
“I’m disappointed that all these Democrats are going to stay home,” said Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI).
“That’s bad for the country,” Duffy argued in an interview on CNN, saying an inaugural should not be for just the party that won the White House.
The President-Elect wasn’t dropping the issue either, as on Tuesday he used both Twitter and an interview with Fox News to jab at Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who last week said he would boycott his first inaugural because of Trump.
But old press reports showed that this was not new ground for Lewis – that he had refused to go to the swearing-in of George W. Bush in 2001 as well, for basically the same reason – Lewis didn’t like the outcome.
“It’s making him look bad, frankly,” Trump said of Lewis in an interview with Fox News.
Other Republicans from Congress joined in that criticism.
And there were even some Democrats who said it would be better for their colleagues to show up at the U.S. Capitol on Friday.
So far, the only Democrats who aren’t going to the Trump Inauguration are from the House, as more liberal Senate Democrats have not yet broken ranks to boycott Trump’s swearing-in.
The number of Democrats staying home kept growing throughout Tuesday.
Reports indicate that Mr. Trump will only speak for about 20 minutes in his Inaugural Address; he is also slated to have a shorter than usual parade.
Supporters say there’s a reason – he wants to get to the Oval Office as fast as possible, to begin undoing many executive actions of the Obama Administration.