Battle Creek’s GOP former congressman calls Trump’s Dingell attacks ‘disgusting’

    President Donald Trump rally in Battle Creek, Dec. 18, 2019 | Andrew Roth

    Former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Battle Creek) wasn’t at President Donald Trump’s raucous rally in his hometown on Wednesday, but, yes, he’s seen the president’s remarks that “maybe” the late U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) is in hell.

    Joe Schwarz

    And Schwarz, who’s not known to mince words, summed up the attack as “disgusting.”

    “It’s a total disservice to a man who spent upwards of 50 years in the U.S. House,” Schwarz said, adding that it was “totally thoughtless” to Dingell’s family.

    On the night he was being impeached by the U.S. House, Trump gave a rambling, almost two-hour speech, in which he went after Dingell, as well as widow, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), for not being sufficiently appreciative of his sacrifice for her husband’s funeral arrangements.

    Trump had previously blasted Dingell on Twitter over the weekend.

    A surgeon and Vietnam veteran, Schwarz served one term in Congress alongside John Dingell from 2005 to 2007. (Dingell spent a bit more time in Washington, as the longest-serving member of Congress in history). Schwarz and Dingell are old friends and he attended his fellow veteran’s funeral in February in Dearborn.

    Susan J. Demas: After Trump attack, the GOP Legislature must name a highway for John Dingell

    The doctor also is a longtime friend of Debbie Dingell, who was also subjected to Trump’s invective. She and Schwarz serve on a board for the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School for Public Policy.

    A lifelong moderate Republican, Schwarz endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Advance asked him if he planned to vote for Trump in 2020.

    He was blunt: “There is no possible way I will vote for Donald Trump.”

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.