January 19, 2017
Some Democrats who have decided to attend Friday’s inauguration of incoming President Trump are first offering explanations, instead of just showing up.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Gwen Moore, D-Wis., released statements justifying why they will come to President-elect Trump’s swearing-in ceremony rather than boycotting the event along with dozens of other Democrats.
“Knowing how he operates, I suspect President-elect Donald Trump will use this expression of free speech as an excuse to bypass Democrats and to push his extreme agenda with utter impunity,” Moore said in a statement explaining why she will not boycott the inauguration. “With that in mind, I refuse to be a pawn in the president-elect’s efforts to rally support from congressional Republicans. As a proud Democrat, I want President-elect Trump to see me front and center as he’s sworn in. I want him to see exactly what his opposition looks like. When he sees me, I want him to see The Resistance.”
Cummings said in a statement he understood the decision by Democrats not to attend, but said he plans to go.
“There are so many people who came before me who struggled so that African-Americans could be full participants in our democracy,” Cummings said. “I believe that I honor their sacrifice by asserting my democratic right to attend an inauguration.”
While over 60 Democrats have pledged they won’t show up on Friday, more than 130 Democrat lawmakers have not announced they plan to skip the event, although the list continues to grow.
Democrat Gerry Connolly of Virginia is among the Democrats who announced Wednesday he will not attend Trump’s swearing-in ceremony.
“His behavior and harmful words during and after the campaign have left the country I love with open, bleeding wounds. Instead of binding those wounds, he has poured salt on them,” Connolly said.