John Danforth on today's politics and politicians
The former Republican U.S. senator from Missouri talks about President Biden, the Jan. 6 insurrection, Donald Trump and Josh Hawley.
John C. Danforth is a senior statesman, having served Missouri as both its attorney general and a U.S. senator and as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
In this conversation with Steve Kraske, he offers his frank assessments on a number of topics, including his role in the election of U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri.
On Joe Biden who was in the U.S. Senate during Danforth's 18 years there: "My take on Joe was that he was a politician in the best sense of the word. That is, he was a person who really liked to work things out and see how he could bring people together and accommodate people to the best of his ability. That's not how he's functioned as a president. He's really moved quite far to the left and dramatically so."
On comparing the Jan. 6 insurrection to 9/11: "I think it's worse because 9/11 was from the outside, this is from the inside. And it's an upheaval within against the American system, the American constitutional structure."
On former President Donald J.Trump: "I think that this Trump phenomenon is . . . very, very destructive for our country," and when it comes to his party, "Trump is not the future of the Republican party if we intend to be a national party."
On U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.: Danforth believes he had the opportunity to bring to the Senate what Sen. Patrick Moynihan, D-NY, had brought in Danforth's day, namely "the ability to add that intellectual heft to the Senate." Danforth admits, "He's not what I thought he was going to be," and adds, "I feel responsible for this thing."
- John C. Danforth, former Republican U.S. Senator from Missouri