White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest is denouncing Donald Trump for failing to correct a man at a political rally who said that Obama was a Muslim and not born in America.
“Are we surprised that this happened at a Donald Trump rally?” he asked, claiming Trump’s base was characterized by “offensive views” such as the ones expressed at the rally.
Then Earnest blamed the entire Republican party for failing to stand up to Trump, asserting that none would want to offend the same voters that made up his political base.
“What’s also unfortunate is that Mr. Trump isn’t the first Republican politician to countenance these kinds of views in order to win votes,” Earnest said. “In fact, that’s precisely what every Republican presidential candidate is doing when they decline to denounce Mr. Trump’s cynical strategy.”
Earnest went further, accusing Republicans of defending the Confederate flag and highlighted the racial background of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, telling reporters that they also blocked immigration reform and supported reforms to the voting rights act.
“Those are the priorities of today’s Republican party, and they’ll continue to be until someone in the Republican party decides to summon the courage to stand up and change it,” Earnest said. “This is a cynical strategy that too many Republican politicians have dabbled in, because for some of them it’s proved to be successful,” Earnest said.
Earnest also singled out Sen. John McCain’s “patriotism” for challenging racial views about the president expressed by a supporter back in 2008.
When asked if Obama wanted an apology from Trump, Earnest wouldn’t say.
“I haven’t seen any evidence to indicate that he’s interested in my advice about what he should do,” he said.