CNN’s Brinkley: Trump’s Rhetoric Like George Wallace Saying ‘Segregation Now’

CNN Presidential Historian Douglas Brinkley said that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s rhetoric was the same as George Wallace’s “segregation now” statement on Friday’s broadcast of “CNN Tonight.”

Brinkley, during a discussion on the term “anchor baby” was asked about the historical context of controversial terms in politics. During the question, host Don Lemon stated the last term he remembers being so controversial was “welfare queens.” Brinkley’s response began, “Or Donald Trump playing the birther card about Barack Obama.”

He continued, “I think there’s a lot of — they used to call them [in] the 19th century, Know-Nothingness. [The] Know-Nothing Party was anti-Mormon, anti-Catholic, anti-Jewish. And here tonight in California — I mean, in Alabama, tonight, watching this, you think about George Wallace with ‘segregation now,’ and ‘segregation forever.’ Plays well with a certain audience, but is that the brand the GOP wants to have represented. In other words, Trump did well tonight. He had a lot of momentum –.”

Lemon then cut in to ask Brinkley if he thought Trump’s rhetoric was “on the same level” as Wallace’s. Brinkley answered, “I do. I think it’s basically, ‘Mexicans go home.’ That’s the code language, what’s going on with the wall. And that’s what anchor babies is all about. It’s deeply offensive to Mexican-Americans and it’s going to kill the Republicans with the Latino vote. It doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining. Demagogues are often entertaining. But there’s too much China bashing, Japan bashing, Saudi Arabia bashing, going after all of our allies. Basically, it’s nativism on steroids. And it’s tracking right now. And it’s going to be awful hard for Jeb Bush to go after Trump. I’m not quite sure how he does it effectively, because Trump is a master at media manipulation.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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