Scott, Lisman Critical Of Trump's Proposal To Ban Muslims Entering U.S.
Both of Vermont's Republican gubernatorial candidates are strongly criticizing GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump over Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and Shelburne businessman Bruce Lisman say Trump's comments are dangerous and would erode civil liberties in this country.
Carolyn Branagan is a seven-term Republican House member from Georgia, Vt. After hearing about Trump's plan on Monday, she says she spent a sleepless night trying to develop a strategy to put Vermont's Republican leaders on record denouncing Trump's comments.
The next day, Branagan wrote an email to party leaders calling on them to speak out on this issue because she feels Trump's comments are "against everything America stands for and that he is damaging to all Republicans."
"This is something important. We can't be afraid to say something like this is wrong," Branagan said. "I stand strongly by my statement that this cannot continue in the United States."
Both of the party's gubernatorial candidates agree with Branagan.
Lt. Gov. Phil Scott says Trump's comments have no place in an American presidential campaign.
"Donald Trump has gone from entertainment-in-chief-wannabe to just being plain dangerous," Scott said. "I think that some of the statements he's making for political gain really have a way of tearing America apart and these are times when we should be trying to pull together."
Businessman Bruce Lisman said Trump poses a threat to civil liberties in this country.
"It's beginning to parse groups by their religion and if we go there then what else might we do?" said Lisman. "We believe in the notion that we have civil liberties that we hold dear."
Would either of these candidates vote for Trump if he wins the GOP presidential nomination?
Scott says he's still reviewing the slate of candidates, but he is certain that he would never vote for Trump.
"I could name two or three [GOP presidential candidates] that I could not support," Scott said. "Donald Trump being one of them."
Lisman didn't answer the question because he says he's convinced that Trump will never win the GOP nomination. He says the race thus far has defied most predictions because the "outsider" candidates are the top of the polls and the "established" candidates are down near the bottom.
Lisman laughed, then said: "Would I vote for him? I think I'd rather wait ... to see — this has been such a surprising turn."
Rep. Branagan says she is drafting a letter to Trump stating her strong opposition to his comments. She hopes all GOP lawmakers in Vermont will sign the statement.