CNN’s S.E. Cupp Claps Back at Rick Santorum for Defending Trump’s Racist Attacks Against the Squad

CNN’s S.E. Cupp Claps Back at Rick Santorum for Defending Trump’s Racist Attacks Against the Squad

CNN commentator S.E. Cupp verbally smacked down Rick Santorum as he tried to defend Donald Trump’s recent racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen.

Santorum had been asked by Dana Bash, who was moderating a panel on Sunday’s State of the Union, to comment on Trump’s walkback of his criticism of the “Send her back” chant that broke out at his campaign rally this past week. That walkback culminated in a Sunday morning tweet in which the president said he does not think the four minority Democratic congresswomen he has spent the week attacking “are capable of loving our Country.”

Santorum answered with some gobbledygook about the Democratic Party becoming too radical and extreme and wanting to destroy what “most Ameircans hold dear,” adding “I know it’s hair on fire time for everyone on the left.”

That was when Cupp broke in with an impassioned critique:

“I’m not on the left. I’m a Republican and it’s hair on fire for me because it’s disgusting and because it’s un-American and because this is not conservatism. This is not patriotism. This is division. THis is pure racism and marginalizing people who happen to have some criticisms of our country. I don’t like those criticisms…but there is a difference between pointing out the criticisms and turning Americans against Americans to get elected. It’s disgusting.”

Later in the panel, Santorum claimed Trump was criticizing the four women “not for the color of their skin, he’s criticizing them for the positions they take.”

“If they were white, would he have said go back to your own country?” an incredulous Cupp demanded. After some more fumbling by Santorum, she practically hollered, “Rick, what would that even mean?”

She went on to talk about the moment in 2008 when John McCain stopped a woman at one of his town halls from complaining about Barack Obama being a secret Muslim, which might have alienated McCain from some Republican voters.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.