In the wake of Donald Trump’s mini-scandal over support from David Duke and the KKK, many in the media and the political world have wondered just how seriously they should take Trump’s comments that he has no idea who Duke and the KKK are. However, for one of Trump’s opponents, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), the comments have more significant meaning. Senator Cruz wonders if Trump’s comments are any different than the comments and rhetoric that President Obama has been using to divide Americans for the last 7 years.
Here’s what Trump had to say on the topic while speaking with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday.
Hugh Hewitt: I was in the green room yesterday on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. I want to talk about your interview with that. But first, Mitt Romney tweeted out today a disqualifying and disgusting response by @realDonaldTrump the KKK. His coddling of repugnant bigotry is not in the character of America. What’s your response to that tweet, Ted Cruz?
Ted Cruz: Well, listen, I thought it was very sad when Donald was asked about the KKK, and asked about David Duke, the former grand wizard of the KKK endorsing him, that Donald was not willing to denounce the Klan. I mean, this ought to be something that should be easy, that should bring all of us together. The Klan is repugnant. Racism and bigotry has no place in our society, and I thought it was disappointing that Donald was unwilling to say that when he was asked about it.
Hugh Hewitt: Now Joe Scarborough also used that term disqualifying on Morning Joe this morning. That is, it’s a very loaded term. It means you can’t be the nominee. Do you agree with that?
Ted Cruz: Well, listen, I think that it is revealing of a willingness to traffic in some very ugly sentiments. You know, we’ve, there’s also been robo-calls that have been playing in early primary states of some white nationalists urging people to vote for Trump, and saying don’t vote for anyone Cuban, and you know, making a very explicit appeal to racial and ethnic prejudice. And you know, Donald has not denounced those also, that those have no place in politics. And you know, we’ve had seven years of President Obama dividing us on racial and ethnic lines. The last thing we need is a president who tries to inflame those. And this ought to be something that brings everyone together, that bigotry is not welcome in our public life.
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