On Thursday, a Texan who was one of the people outed by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) for donating to President Trump fired back on Fox & Friends, saying that his own father fought in World War II to give Americans the right to vote for whomever they chose.
In an interview with Willie Geist on MSNBC, Castro had defended his actions, snapping, “Unless you support the white nationalism and the racism that Donald Trump is paying for and fueling, then I hope you, as a person of good conscience, will think twice about contributing to his campaign.”
Speaking on Fox & Friends, Mark Hanrahan, the CEO of Mid-American Aerospace, was asked, “First of all, your name is on this list; you find out about it from, I believe it’s from your children, who saw it on Twitter. Are you deterred by what was the intended impact on you?”
Hanrahan answered, “Quite frankly, maybe I was little bit naïve, but I was angered by the fact that anybody would — being outed as a contributor wasn’t the problem, but tying me to that horrific tragedy in El Paso was galling. It just made me sick to my stomach. So when I was called by a reporter I did agree to chat and go into what had happened.”
Hanrahan was then asked, “I think Castro told Willie Geist that it was not his intention to harass or to target individuals. Do you buy that?”
Not at all. I saw the interview with Willie Geist and he started backpedaling a little bit. But the truth is that he knows exactly what he is doing. Once again — I mean, America is a free country; my dad fought in Italy as a combat soldier in World War II and he was a big advocate of the First Amendment. He always said that Voltaire was his guide; that he didn’t agree with what you said but he would defend with his life your right to say it. The notion that I’m not free to support or think what I think and to be bullied with slurs of racism, I think a lot of people of my generation that support the president are tired of it.
When he was asked why someone like Joaquin Castro and other Democrats thought that outing someone’s name would intimidate them not to support a certain candidate, Hanrahan pointed out, “I think it’s been going on a long time; they’ve spit in little Trump’s face; they’ve harassed people at restaurants and I think that they think that is a tactic that will work. I don’t really understand it; I think it’s demagoguery.” He said of the fallout from Castro’s list, “There’s a certain amount of skittishness, mostly the millennial crowd; I work with a bunch of twenty-thirty-year-olds, and some of them were, hell, they wanted to lock the front door and I thought that was kind of ridiculous. I recently received some emails, I guess, that were unkind, but quite frankly I think — all I’ve received is a lot of unkind comments by people that have known me throughout my life. I’ve been contacted by kids I haven’t talked to for thirty years.”
Hanrahan concluded, “I pray that Joaquin Castro is treated like he should be treated. He wasn’t just publishing a list of donors; he was hoping that they would be discombobulated or harassed or whatever … I just think we have, In America, the right to free speech, and I and a lot of people who support the president, we’re not going to be called, we’re not going to be called racist and other slurs without fighting back. I think it was just a matter of time; if it hadn’t been Trump it would have been somebody else. The working class of America was not going to sit still forever.”