For some reason, the fact that Donald Trump made himself into a viable presidential candidate five years ago by embracing the seedy racism of the birther movement has been little discussed during this insane election season. Sure, we’ll occasionally hear it brought up by Chris Matthews or Chris Hayes on MSNBC, and Bill Maher tries to inject it into panels from time to time, but overall the issue has received sparse coverage.
Therefore, it was a bit refreshing that CNN’s Jake Tapper pressed Trump adviser and Mr. 9-11 Rudy Giuliani on Trump’s birtherism during Sunday’s State of the Union. Talking about Trump’s Panderfest 2016, Tapper noted that many African-American voters he’s spoken to are still extremely bothered by the Republican standard-bearer claiming President Obama was born in Africa and was ineligible to be POTUS. What they really want to see if Trump atones for that, not just do these little PR stunts.
Well, Giuliani didn’t quite see it that way. (Imagine that?) First, he noted that it was Hillary Clinton who started the whole birther issue. (This is, of course, a lie.) After Tapper corrected him on that, Giuliani said African-Americans are suffering from “faulty memory” when thinking Trump started the movement, when in reality, he ended it by forcing Obama to show his birth certificate. (See, The Donald is a hero, black folks!)
The CNN host then reminded the ex-New York City mayor that Trump mentioned as recently as February 2015 that he thinks Obama’s birth certificate is a fake. With that hanging out there, Tapper wondered if the real estate mogul should “just apologize for this if he really wants to reach out to minority voters?”
Nope, nope, nope, according to Giuliani. See, Trump can’t just go around apologizing for everything he’s said in the past. Anyway, it’s the Dems that should be saying they’re sorry to Trump for calling his birtherism racist.
“You know, if everybody apologized for all the things they said in politics, all we would be doing on television shows is apologizing. Maybe a lot of the Democrats should apologize for calling Donald Trump a racist and calling him all kinds of terrible names. And it gets a little silly. Let’s get down to the basic issue here. For years, people say Republicans don’t reach out to the African-American community. Well, he reached out to the African-American community.”
America’s Mayor also noted that the only Republican who has reached out to minorities more than Trump was Giuliani himself. He additionally stated that food stamps have gone up two and a half times under Obama when jobs should have gone up that much. (Well, it would appear employment has improved by nearly that rate under the president, considering that it went for over 10% to this month’s 4.9%.)
At the end of the exchange, Tapper expressed the feelings of everyone watching:
“I take your point. My only — my only point is that many African-Americans are still mad about Donald Trump having tried to invalidate Barack Obama by claiming he was born in Africa. But we’re obviously not going to get anywhere.”
Indeed, we’re not going to get anywhere. Sorta like how the Republican Party isn’t going to get anywhere with black and Hispanic voters.