For Trump, It’s Not the United States, It’s Red and Blue States

Mr. Schumer, now the Senate Democratic leader, went to the floor to denounce Mr. Trump. “What kind of president looks at the number of dead citizens in the country he is supposed to lead — and in attempt to glamorize himself — dismisses every American who died in a state that didn’t support him politically?” Mr. Schumer said. “What a disgrace. It’s monstrous. Not a shred of empathy. Not an ounce of sorrow. What kind of president do we have?”

In a statement on Thursday, Sarah Matthews, a White House spokeswoman, said Mr. Trump’s policies “uplift all Americans” and that he fights “for people of all backgrounds,” including in fighting the coronavirus. “But it’s no secret some Democrat-run states and cities have failed to create economic growth, secure their streets or protect the most vulnerable against this virus,” she said.

Some of the president’s supporters suggested the criticism of his comments has been overwrought and perhaps hypocritical. Ari Fleischer, who was White House press secretary for Mr. Bush, said Mr. Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats “blame everything they don’t like on Trump,” whether he deserves it or not.

“I do think Trump is on high ground when he points out that cities with Democratic mayors are not doing a good job handling the riots,” Mr. Fleischer said. “Frankly, I view urban issues, not just the riots but quality of life issues that are important, as openings for Republicans to make their case in areas where one-party rule has been the norm for decades.”

Mr. Trump came to office making the same sorts of promises of bipartisanship that other presidents have. “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans,” he declared in his victory speech after being elected in 2016. “And this is so important to me.”

But once in office, he relished warring with Democratic governors and mayors. He attacked blue states for “sanctuary” policies resisting cooperation with federal immigration crackdowns, and he has sought to penalize states like deep-blue California for environmental policies that go beyond the standards he has set at the federal level. More recently, he threatened to take funds from four “anarchist jurisdictions” with Democratic mayors who in his view have not done enough to suppress protests against racial injustice that turn violent.

Mr. Trump set the tone early with the signature tax cut legislation that passed in 2017 and limited the federal deduction for state taxes, effectively raising taxes on many high-income earners in blue states and creating what Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York at the time called “an economic civil war” between blue states and red states. Mr. Trump subsequently changed his own residence from blue New York, where the tax change hit hard, to the redder Florida, where there is no state income tax. He has urged others to leave New York as well.