- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Virginia Republican Party Chairman John Whitbeck said Tuesday that focusing on President Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville protests distracts from the victims.

“I think the most important thing we can do right now is to remember the people we lost, remember the violence that occurred, and I think that what we do when we talk about who tweeted what, and who did enough, and who said enough, we start getting away from that,” Mr. Whitbeck said on CNN.

He did acknowledge that Mr. Trump’s statement Monday, which directly called out the neo-Nazi groups who created the violent protests in Virginia over the weekend, was the statement the president should have made Saturday.

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“The statement that we saw on yesterday was the statement we wanted to see on Saturday,” Mr. Whitbeck said. “But you know, at the same time we were, as Virginians, we were focused on what was going on with all of our leadership.”

Mr. Whitbeck said Mr. Trump’s statement Monday refocused the attention on those who lost their lives and hopes that will remain the focus.

“I think if we start parsing out how much time it took, and too little, too late, and all the other things, we’re getting away from the fact that three people died on Saturday, an innocent woman and two of our fine police officers,” he said. “I think that’s the focus of what it should be, and the president’s statement went a long way in bringing us back to that focus.”

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