ELECTION 2018: Most critical midterms of lifetime, GOP's Connor says

Nov 01, 2018

Col. Bill Connor makes a point about the midterm election during his session with The Panther. (Panther photo by Aliya Byrd)

Col. Bill Connor calls this midterm election the most important of his lifetime.

Connor, a former Army commander in the war in Afghanistan and a Republican candidate for S.C. lieutenant governor in South Carolina in 2010, told The Panther at an Oct. 9 news conference that the agendas of the Trump administration and GOP will come to a halt if Democrats gain control in Congress.

“There is a feeling that these midterms are about (President Donald) Trump,” said Connor, an Orangeburg attorney who also serves as senior emergency preparedness officer in South Carolina for the U.S. Army Reserve. “This is the most critical midterm in my lifetime.”

A loss of the House to Democrats, which is forecast by many national polls, would likely mean efforts to impeach the president, Connor said.

Connor said major issues of the midterm are the impeachment threat, the economy and immigration.

He cited the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings as an event that angered many Republicans. As the election approaches, the fear of Kavanaugh’s impeachment “does drive Republicans.”

“It’s really galvanized a lot of Republicans,” Connor said. “A lot of people that didn’t vote before will vote.”

Midterm issues
-- Impeachment. Democrats have their eyes on removing Trump from office if they take control of Congress, Connor said.

-- Jobs and booming economy. “The overall thing now is the economy,” with the country experiencing the lowest unemployment rate since 1969, Connor said.

“A lot of people just wish the president … would focus on economy, economy, economy.”

-- Immigration. “A lot of Republicans see the immigration issue as huge.”

-- Defeat of ISIS and making progress with North Korea. Not enough emphasis is placed on either, Connor said.

-- Hearings for new Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. Democrats were politically motivated in trying to undermine the nominee, Connor said.

-- Media. Trump has really tapped into something with the media,” Connor said of the president’s criticism of networks, newspapers and journalists.

The media do show bias, but sometime it is less about what is reported than what is left out, Connor said. “To the media, I say, just be fair.”

-- The Democrats. “The fringe of the Democrat Party is now taking over,” Connor said. When candidates openly talk about socialism, that is a big negative, particularly for older Americans for whom memories of worldwide socialism are anything but positive.

-- Race -- “I honestly don’t think he’s a racist,” Connor said of Trump and allegations by Democrats that the president is divisive and uses race as a divider. “He’s about cold, hard power plays. He’s playing power politics.”

“I did not support him in the primary,” Connor said of Trump’s win in South Carolina in 2016. Connor did support Trump in the November matchup with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s base of support is not traditional Republicans, Connor said.

Connor, who describes himself as a social conservative, said he does not approve of all Trump tactics, such as his fights on Twitter. But “our side has cut him a break on it.”

“Donald Trump has revamped things in a major way,” Connor said.

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