According to a report at Axios, conservative proponents of Donald Trump’s citizenship question on the Census are privately furious after they spent weeks helping the president promote it — only to watch the president wave the white flag and surrender to the courts.
During an announcement on Thursday, the president conceded that the proposed question about citizenship status would not be included on the 2020 Census after its legality was questioned by the Supreme Court.
According to Axios, one anonymous supporter of Trump called the president’s betrayal a “punch in the gut,” despite the president insisting that he is still “fighting” for it — or at least some alternative way to gather the data.
Noting that “Federalist Society stalwarts were shocked and floored by how weak the decision was,” Axios spoke with one supporter who was disgusted by the cave by Trump.
“What was the dance … all about if this was going to be the end result?” one conservative leader complained.
Another added that Trump may lose support for other initiatives because he can’t be trusted to see them through.
“A total waste of everyone’s time. … It’s certainly going to give people pause the next time one has to decide how far to stick one’s neck out,” was the complaint.
Officials in the White House are also upset after the Justice Department worked on it, failed, then saw the president try and override them — only to then turn around and abandon the whole project.
“What’s sad is the President has been right on this since Day 1, but he’s being told it’s too hard and too long a road legally,” a senior White House official confided. “Washington lawyers too often bow to the courts and treat them like a higher branch, when this is ripe for a fight, with American people in full support.”
You can read the whole report here.