During a stop at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday, U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen offered up a suggestion to President Donald Trump about tackling big agenda items like tax reform.
“Facts matter, words matter, and we need to understand that,” Paulsen said during an interview with Star Tribune editorial writer Patricia Lopez, which also included questions from fairgoers. “I think the president needs to understand that also. My message would be: If you want to be successful on tax reform, getting some of these things that are important for your agenda across the finish line, you’ve got to have the ability to lead and get public support, galvanize public support to be successful.”
Asked about the president’s response to violence that broke out at a recent Charlottesville, Va., rally organized by white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, Paulsen reiterated his own earlier comments about the need to denounce those groups quickly and decisively.
He said campaign-style rallies held by the president stir emotions at a time when “people are looking for statesmen, looking for leadership, that presidential leadership. And [Trump] is more of a disrupter in that category.”
Paulsen called for “civility, discourse, restraint, whether it’s in the political system or society as a whole,” noting that one of his Washington, D.C., roommates, Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana, is still recovering from a shooting incident in June. Paulsen said that incident was prompted in part by messages spread on social media.