Cross posted at the MRC's NewsBusters blog
Appearing as a guest on New Day Sunday, liberal CNN contributor Joe Lockhart claimed that anyone who votes for President Donald Trump in 2020 is a "racist" no matter what their reasons are for doing so. His comments came during a discussion of President Trump attacking Maryland Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings over the poor conditions that exist in his Baltimore-based district in response to the Maryland Democrat attacking the President over the treatment of illegal immigrant children.
At 6:09 a.m. Eastern, after liberal contributor Kirsten Powers commented that Trump and his advisors must believe the President's "voters" are "racists" because he has recently been critical of several minority Democrats in Congress, host Victor Blackwell brought up Lockhart's recent tweet accusing all Trump voters of racism:
Joe, you took it one step further. You actually -- and I'm going to read your tweet. "Anyone who supports a racist or a racist strategy is a racist themselves. 2020 is a moment of reckoning for America. Vote for Donald Trump, and you are a racist. Don't hide it like a coward. Wear that racist badge proudly and see how it feels."
The CNN host pushed back mildly as he added:
I'm going to read that sentence again: "Vote for Donald Trump, and you're a racist." Americans who vote for the President because, let's say, they're firmly pro-life, they are racist because they believe that he is right on that issue no matter who the eventual Democratic nominee is, is pro-choice, that pro-life voter is a racist because they vote for Donald Trump?
The former Bill Clinton White House press secretary doubled down as he responded: "I think so. I think racism only exists because it's supported. If people didn't support racism, you wouldn't have racists."
After recalling that there were "hints" of Trump's racism in 2016, he continued:
They're making this an explicit strategy. They're saying -- and it's a logical extension of his immigration strategy -- they're saying they want to divide America into two groups -- whites and nonwhites -- and that is a racist strategy. So my point is, if you go into the polls and when you say you support Donald Trump, then you're supporting his racism, and that's the foundation of being racist.
Instead of pointing out that, if pro-lifers had their way, black babies would disproportionately saved from being killed by abortion providers, Blackwell turned to Powers and followed up: "Every one of the people -- every person in America who votes for Donald Trump in 2020 is a racist -- that's what we're hearing from Joe. Do you agree with that?"
Powers stopped short of calling all Trump voters "racists" but worried about such voters being "comfortable" with the President on the issue.