Trump rails against refrigerators and promises cleaner dishes – The Guardian
Donald Trump unveiled unusual, new campaign promises to a crowd of thousands of his fervent supporters at a Milwaukee campaign rally on Tuesday: better household appliances.
While Democratic presidential candidates sparred over climate change at their debate in Iowa, Trump offered a contrasting message in the vital swing state of Wisconsin by calling out the Department of Energy for tightening energy efficiency standards for dishwashers, refrigerators, lightbulbs and more.
The rally, held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panther Arena, took a strange turn to appliances, with Trump taking particular offense at household items that limit water usage. “Sinks, toilets, and showers – you don’t get any water,” he said.
He also railed into dishwashers and refrigerators, evoking nostalgia for more powerful machines.
“Remember the dishwasher? You’d press it, boom! There’d be, like, an explosion. Five minutes later you open it up, the steam pours out,” he said. Trump then criticized newer models, claiming women – just women – across the country have to now wash their dishes “10 times”.
“Anybody have a new dishwasher? I’m sorry for that,” he told the crowd, promising that under his presidency their “dishes will be beautiful”.
But beneath the surreal prospect of the US president publicly promising better dishwashers lies more disturbing reasoning – which could chime with Trump’s rightwing base.
The rant follows months of increasing criticisms from Republican lawmakers to energy regulators over stricter environmental standards. According to the International Energy Agency, a common critique of energy-efficient appliances is that they are inefficient, resulting in more usage, reversing energy savings effects.
In December, the Trump administration gutted Obama-era standards on energy-saving lightbulbs. The measures mandate a gradual phasing out of incandescent bulbs, which Trump blames for his often carrot-like hue. “I always look orange. And so do you! The light is the worst.”
The criticisms also come just a day after some Republicans condemned bipartisan legislation to gradually eliminate or reduce heat-trapping chemicals in air conditioners and refrigerators. Opponents pinpoint a potential rise in costs for consumers. But the bipartisan legislation has support from environmental advocates and appliance industry leaders even as Trump probably calculates it has appeal to a support base skeptical of environmental causes and hostile to government regulation.
Trump gave the rallying call to a sold-out arena of mostly white attendees. Milwaukee is one of the most segregated cities in America, with minorities concentrated in the city and whites primarily in the suburbs. Chants among the diverse crowd of hundreds of protesters outside the arena called out this irony as more than a dozen organizations representing multiple interests held a demonstration.
“We are letting our government know that no matter what they do, we will never stay silent,” Nadxely Sanchez, of Voces de la Frontera, told the local Fox affiliate WITI.
In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Democratic congresswoman Gwen Moore criticized the president for hosting the rally in “Brew City”, where Democrats will host their Democratic national convention in July, calling it “part of a psychological warfare because his platform is entirely based on emotion”.
“All of this is all part of [a] strategy and of course to draw attention away from our debate,” she said. “What do animals do? They just kind of pee on your carpet.”
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January 16, 2020 at 03:53AM