- George Flinn
Critics of Donald Trump express reactions ranging from mystification to outrage that the controversial president seems to escape adverse judgment from fellow Republicans. And indeed, there aren’t many who, like Utah Senator Mitt Romney, have been willing to take Trump to task.
For what it’s worth, Tennessee has a GOP candidate, one running for the U.S. Senate, who has looked at Trump’s record and is willing to call it blameworthy.
This would be George Flinn, the wealthy physician and broadcast magnate who has gained a reputation as something of a perennial candidate, pouring millions of dollars every two years into unsuccessful campaigns for this or that political office. Flinn served one term and part of another as a Shelby County commissioner, and he came close to winning the Republican primary for the 8th District congressional seat in 2016.
With only days to go before the state’s August 6th Republican primary, voters are asked to levy judgment on him as a candidate one more time. Flinn is attempting to distinguish himself from presumed GOP senatorial frontrunners Bill Hagerty and Manny Sethi by going where other Republicans — here and elsewhere — have feared to tread.
Flinn is blasting away at Trump, on two main grounds: 1) what he sees as the president’s slavish attitude toward Russian leader Vladimir Putin; and 2) Trump’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“He won’t hold Putin to account for all the aggressive actions he’s taking against us in America,” saId Flinn, who expressed particular outrage at Trump’s inability or unwillingness to confront Putin over alleged bounties offered by the Russians to the Taliban in return for assassinations of American personnel in Afghanistan.
“They [Hagerty and Sethi] won’t say anything critical of Trump for this, but I’m denouncing it,” Flinn said.
The other issue Flinn raises is what he, as a doctor, sees as the president’s confused and belated responses to the Covid-19 crisis. “He’s finally been willing to set an example by putting on a mask. That’s 108 days and 138,000 deaths too late. And he’s wasted so much time taking nonsense about relying on hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, as a cure for the coronavirus.
“And, instead of relying on Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and others, he’s recently been trying to give credibility to that woman who believes that people get the virus by having sex with demons in their sleep” This last was a reference to eccentric theories recently pushed by Stella Emmanuel, a Houston doctor.
Flinn pointedly recalled that the 2018 GOP Senate primary had been regarded most of the way as a duel between Republican rivals Randy Boyd and Diane Black, who fought each other to a standstill while a third candidate, current Governor Bill Lee, slipped by them both to win the primary.
Clearly, he is suggesting a similar outcome for his candidacy this year as Hagerty, a former ambassador to Japan who has been endorsed by Trump, and Sethi, a Nashville-area doctor, compete with each other, both keeping to laudatory or uncritical remarks about the president.