Trump tweets video of Maine Democrat cheering white male suicide

President Trump’s tweet above a screenshot of video of Richard Fochtmann cheering higher suicide rates among white men.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Late Friday, President Donald Trump retweeted a video showing a 2016 Democratic candidate for the Maine State Senate cheering the nation’s rising suicide rate among white men.

“What kind of animal is this?” asked Trump in the retweet of Twitter user @ROHLL5. The video has now been seen nearly 2 million times.

Richard Fochtmann, who ran for State Senate as a Democrat in Maine, can be heard in the video saying, “I saw a thing [garbled] a lot of men, white men, were committing suicide. And I almost thought, yeah, great.”

The comment elicited hearty laughter from the crowd gathered at a Maine Democratic Party “Values and Vision” event.

Fochtmann then goes on to say he thought about it a bit and thought, “Maybe I shouldn’t say that in public.”

Standing behind Fochtmann were Maine State Democratic Party leaders, including state party Chairman Phil Bartlett. Bartlett’s presence can be seen in this longer video of the event on YouTube, but not in the video tweeted by Trump. Mr. Fochtmann was trounced in his campaign for Senate, losing by about 34 percentage points.

The video is from 2017.

In response to the Daily Caller’s inquiries, Fochtmann did not apologize for the comments, instead insisting it was a joke. The Maine Democratic Party, while saying the comments were offensive and not representative of the party, lashed out at Maine First Media.

The Democratic Party said the “far right” social media account had selectively published the comments to spread misinformation – but Fochtmann’s admission of the comments seemed to contradict the Democratic Party’s counter-attack.

Fochtmann also told the Daily Caller that he thought of his comment as a joke that America won’t be a majority white nation for much longer and that’s “a good thing.”

According to the Maine CDC, suicide in Maine is well above the national average with 19.3 suicides per 100,000 people in Maine in 2018 compared to the national average of 14.8 suicides per 100,000 people nationally.

Suicide among men is three and a half times more likely than among women, and suicide is Maine’s second leading cause of death among people ages 15-34 years old.

Two Maine candidates for Congress commented on Trump’s tweet.

“Worse than this man’s comments were the gleeful reactions of the crowd. Reprehensible. As Maya Angelou used to say “When people show you who they are, believe them,”” said Adrienne Bennett, who is one of three candidates seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Jared Golden in Maine’s Second Congressional District.

“There is no room in our state or our political discourse for the type of disregard and disdain for our fellow citizens that is displayed by Maine Democrats in this video. ‪We need to end the war on men and maleness in this country. Masculinity is not toxic. We need to end political correctness and self-loathing,” said Bennett.

“This is the natural result of focusing on identity politics rather than on principles. For far too long, Democrats have believed that the only way to lift up women and people of color is by putting down males and whites. It is time to recognize the value of all people, regardless of their race or sex. It is time to heed the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., when he said that we should judge people by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin,” said Dr. Jay Allen, who is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree.

A half hour after President Trump’s retweet, journalist and filmmaker Mike Cernovich tweeted out a NewsCenter Maine “Verify” segment in response to Trump’s tweet, confirming that that the video was real.

On Twitter, some users appeared shocked at the words, while others were more concerned about what the crowd laughing meant for the Democratic Party as a whole.

At the time this piece was written, President Trump’s tweet had been retweeted almost 15,000 times and “loved” by about 40,000 Twitter users.

The story originally made national news in Maine while being mostly ignored for days by the Maine media. It did eventually see coverage locally across Maine as well as nationally.

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