– 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.
of animal is this?” asked Trump in the retweet of Twitter user @ROHLL5. The video
has now been seen nearly 2 million times.
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.”
elicited hearty laughter from the crowd gathered at a Maine Democratic Party “Values
and Vision” event.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
candidates for Congress commented on Trump’s tweet.
“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.