On Sunday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and failed 2018 senate candidate Beto O’Rourke spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper regarding the massacre in El Paso, Texas on Saturday. O’Rourke placed the blame for the killings on President Trump and his rhetoric, and compared the president to the Nazis.
Tapper brought up O’Rourke’s comments over the weekend so far blaming President Trump, and built a point off that to ask O’Rourke about the El Paso terrorist’s motivation.
Tapper said that the document alleged to be the suspect’s manifesto outlines beliefs that O’Rourke has said over the weekend echo the President.
“It also says,” Tapper continued, “that he had this ideology before President Trump.”
“He kind of anticipated, assuming this document [is] real, the alleged terrorist anticipated that people would blame President Trump for it, and said ‘I felt this way before President Trump’,” said Tapper, as a prompt for O’Rourke’s response.
There was a noticeably very long pause before O’Rourke replied that he didn’t know the point that Tapper was trying to make but that it is “pretty obvious” that Trump’s “rhetoric” is “encouraging greater racism” as well as “the violence that so often follows.” He also described Trump’s rhetoric as something one “might hear someone in the Third Reich,” but should not from an American president.
O’Rourke also included “the internet” and Fox News in the list of those he was comparing to the Third Reich.
“This anti-immigrant rhetoric – and again, it is not just President Trump, but he’s certainly, as the person in the position of greatest public trust [in] power, most responsible for it,” he said. “This is Fox News; this is what we’re seeing on the internet; this is the the toleration of intolerance and hatred and racism in this country; this is what is causing what we are seeing here today, and it will continue to happen unless we call it out and unless we change it.”
He said again in a different part of the long interview that Trump is an open white nationalist.
Tapper said to O’Rourke that in one of the Democratic primary debates, Gov. Jay Inslee referred to Trump as a “white nationalist,” and asked if O’Rourke agreed.
“Do you think President Trump is a white nationalist,” asked Tapper.
“Yes, I do,” said O’Rourke. “The things that he has said, both as a candidate and then as the president of the United States, this cannot be open for debate.”
“He does not even pretend to respect our differences, or to understand that we are all created equal,” he said. ‘He is saying that some people are inherently defective or dangerous, reminiscent of something that you might hear in the Third Reich.”
“Let’s be very clear about what is causing this and who the president is,” O’Rourke continued, “he is an open avowed racist and encouraging more racism in this country, and this is incredibly dangerous for the United States of America right now.”
As rhetoric goes, repeating that someone is a genocidal racist who is actively encouraging acts of terror is itself pretty heated, one would think.