US can't afford a Twitter presidency, says Senate Democratic leader

WASHINGTON • Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer has slammed President-elect Donald Trump for his Twitter habit, saying the United States cannot afford a "Twitter presidency".

"'Making America Great Again' requires more than 140 characters per issue," Mr Schumer said in his first speech as Senate Minority Leader on Tuesday, the first day of the 115th session of Congress. He was referring to Mr Trump's well-known campaign slogan.

"With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency. We have real challenges and we need to get real things done," said Mr Schumer, warning that the incoming president will fail if he sticks with a "Twitter presidency".

"Many Americans are afraid, Mr President-elect, that instead of rolling up your sleeves and forging serious policies... for you, Twitter suffices," he told the Senate chamber.

"There's nothing wrong with using Twitter to speak to the American people. It's a good use of modern media. But these issues are complex and demand both careful consideration and action. We cannot tweet them away.

NEED TO GET REAL

'Making America Great Again' requires more than 140 characters per issue... With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency. We have real challenges and we need to get real things done.

SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER, in his first speech as Senate Minority Leader.

"If President-elect Trump lets the hard-right members of Congress and his Cabinet run the show, if he attempts to adopt their time-worn policies which benefit the elites, the special interests, corporate America - not the working man and woman - his presidency will not succeed. Maybe not in the first 90 days, but certainly not in the first two years."

The Democratic leader said Mr Trump's tweet "bragging" about the 800 jobs he saved at the Carrier plant in Indiana "doesn't solve the underlying problem".

"While it's good the 800 jobs were saved... even at Carrier, 1,300 jobs are still leaving, hundreds more at the nearby Rexnord plant that are going overseas, and most importantly, thousands more each month leave our shores from every part of America," Mr Schumer said.

"Tweeting about 800 jobs you saved is not a re-manufacturing policy. That's not an economic policy."

He also pressed Mr Trump to be clearer on his pledge to "make America great again". Democrats are "going to hold the President-elect accountable for a real policy to stop jobs from leaving the country", he said, adding that his party will work with Mr Trump and Senate Republicans to create more jobs.

XINHUA

SEE OPINION

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2017, with the headline 'US can't afford a Twitter presidency, says Senate Democratic leader'. Print Edition | Subscribe