While Democratic and Republican officeholders who’d butted heads with Donald Trump are putting up white flags, advocacy groups for the causes he’s denigrated warned Wednesday that they will fight him at every turn.
From Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to GOP rivals he’d vanquished in contentious primaries, Trump’s former foes promised to help him and urged their followers to give him a chance in the White House.
“Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country,” Clinton said. “I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans.”
President Barack Obama said of his successor: “We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country. The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy.”
In Florida, the newly re-elected senator whom Trump had disparaged as “little Marco” shrugged off the insult.
“Whether you voted for him or not, he will soon be our president, and our nation can only be successful in the years to come by helping him succeed,” Rubio, a Miami Republican, said after defeating Democratic Rep. Patrick Murphy to win his second Senate term.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California called Trump to congratulate him, while Obama prepared to greet him Thursday at the White House.
There were no such conciliatory notes from the core groups that form the foundation of the Democratic Party and raise millions of dollars for its candidates.
There are almost no words to capture the threat that this election result poses to our democracy, to our economic security, to access to reproductive health care.
Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood president
Rhea Suh, head of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, took aim at Trump’s past denials of climate change and his pledge to ease environmental regulations on businesses.
“If Donald Trump thinks he can launch a big polluter assault on our air, waters, wildlife and lands, we’ll build a wall of opposition to stop him,” Suh said.
Trump tweeted in 2014 that global warming was “a total and very expensive hoax.” Two years earlier he had dismissed it as a Chinese plot.
Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, warned Trump not to reverse the United States’ leading role in the Paris Agreement on global warming.
That international pact, whose first measures went into effect last week, was adopted in December. Under the accord, the United States pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than one-quarter from 2005 levels by 2025.
“Trump better choose wisely, otherwise we can guarantee him the hardest fight of his life every step of the way,” Brune said.
Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, may have issued the most defiant battle call of all.
Romero ticked off a string of Trump campaign stances that he said offended the deepest American values: deporting 11 million workers who are in the U.S. illegally, banning the entry of Muslims into the country, punishing women for getting abortions, reauthorizing waterboarding and other forms of torture, and weakening libel laws.
26 The percentage of Americans who identify themselves as liberal, according to Gallup
“If you do not reverse course and instead endeavor to make these campaign promises a reality, you will have to contend with the full firepower of the ACLU at every step,” Romero said.
“Our staff of litigators and activists in every state, thousands of volunteers and millions of card-carrying supporters are ready to fight against any encroachment on our cherished rights and freedoms,” he said.
The U.S. branch of Friends of the Earth took the unusual step of issuing a statement of “environmental resistance” against Trump.
“We will have to harness our new energy, join together and use every strategy possible to fight against the hate and greed and environmental destruction,” said Erich Pica, head of the 2 million-strong group. “While I wish we had a different fight before us, we must fight the one presented to us. The future of our country and our planet depends on it.”
Chris Carson, head of the League of Women Voters, focused her ire on mainly Republican legislators who’d enacted restrictive voting laws in Texas, North Carolina and other states.
“Thousands of eligible voters were purged from the rolls,” Carson said. “Onerous voter ID laws prevented eligible voters from casting their ballots. We saw cases of misinformation and intimidation at the polls.”
Carson also criticized the Supreme Court’s June 2013 ruling invalidating parts of the Voting Rights Act, describing Tuesday’s voting as “the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections” of the landmark 1968 law.
People’s Action, based in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, launched a frontal attack on the president-elect.
Republicans who took control of Congress in 1994 under Newt Gingrich tried unsuccessfully to weaken the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act
“Donald Trump’s election to the presidency is nothing short of a disaster for America,” co-directors LeeAnn Hall and George Goehl said in a statement.
“We will stand with the communities of color, immigrants, Muslims and women Trump has spent his campaign attacking so harshly,” they said.
Hall and Goehl added: “We commit ourselves to unwavering resistance to Trump and his agenda.”
James Zogby, head of the Arab American Institute, said Trump’s election made the work of his group more urgent.
“The divisiveness and bigotry that have characterized this long election cycle have been difficult,” Zogby said.
“The campaign has understandably made a lot of Americans fearful of what is to come,” he said. “We share these concerns. Candidate Donald Trump proposed a long list of policies – from immigration to national security and foreign policy – that we simply cannot abide as Americans.”
Cecile Richards, head of Planned Parenthood, said Trump posed a unique menace to women.
“There are almost no words to capture the threat that this election result poses to our democracy, to our economic security, to access to reproductive health care and most especially to the safety and dignity of people of color,” she said.
Richards added: “We cannot allow the acceptance of institutionalized racism, sexism and discrimination to become our new normal. We will not give up, we will not back down and we will not be silenced.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to Chris Carson as a man. Carson is a woman.