Trump and Clinton throw more blows in bigotry fight – Politico
The heavy charges of bigotry that have flown between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton spilled into Friday, with Trump releasing new videos accusing Clinton of a long history of veiled racism and Clinton re-upping her claims that a “radical fringe” is carrying his candidacy.
The slicing accusations have taken the brutal general election battle between the two candidates to a new level. Both already suffer from dismal favorability ratings, and they are showing a fierce desire to convince independent voters that the other candidate couldn’t possibly be fit to serve in the White House.
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On Friday, the Trump campaign sought to rekindle the still-smoldering fights of Clinton’s primary with Bernie Sanders while digging back even deeper into the archives to her past comments about Barack Obama and her infamous 1996 declaration that certain kids who are “super-predators” must be “brought to heel.”
In a speech preceding Clinton’s own fiery condemnation of him Thursday, Trump hinted at the attacks to come against the former secretary of state and first lady. Trump, speaking at a rally in New Hampshire, dropped in a mention of an anecdote from “Game Change,” the behind-the-scenes exposé on the 2008 election in which Bill Clinton offended liberal Sen. Ted Kennedy by remarking that Obama “[a] few years ago … would have been getting us coffee.”
But in the early morning hours of Friday, the Trump campaign was more explicit. They posted a video to their Instagram feed reviving the Clintons’ racially-charged remarks about then-Sen. Obama during the 2008 primary. The off-hand remark by Bill Clinton was there, but the video itself led with a snippet of Clinton answering to Tim Russert on “Meet the Press” in January 2008 after declaring that “Dr. [Martin Luther] King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act.”
“It’s as if you are minimizing ‘I Have A Dream,'” Russert tells Clinton, quoting The Washington Post, remarking that it appears as though she was calling it a “a nice sentiment, but it took a white president to get blacks to the mountaintop.”
Trump’s campaign didn’t stop there.
Hours later, the candidate tweeted, “The Clinton’s are the real predators…” linking to another fresh Instagram video digging up the former first lady’s “super-predators” remark and its echoes in her primary against Bernie Sanders.
A clip of Sanders criticizing Clinton’s “super-predator” defense at the final Democratic debate as “a racist term and everybody knew it was a racist term” is shown twice, including at the end of the video, ostensibly to maximize the impact of the senator’s words. Trump has long said he would use Sanders’ attacks on Clinton against her in the general election.
The Clinton campaign, for its part, pushed back at Trump’s repeated entreaty to African-American communities in which he asks, “What the hell do you have to lose?”
The answer from a 30-second Clinton ad released Friday: “Everything.” The spot features Trump’s comment at a campaign event in which he referred to “my African-American” before noting charges against Trump for housing discrimination against African-Americans.
“I have a great relationship with the blacks,” Trump is heard saying, in a clip from a 2011 radio interview. “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.”
Clinton, who did not directly address the videos in a telephone interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” would also not say whether she would personally call Trump a “bigot,” as he has called her on multiple recent occasions, including during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper aired Thursday night.
“All I can do is point to the evidence of what he has said and what he has done. And from the start, he has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia,” she said. “And it’s deeply disturbing that he is taking hate groups that lived in the dark regions of the Internet, making them mainstream, helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party.”
Pushing through the talking points she hammered in her Nevada speech, Clinton sought to further disqualify Trump from the presidency.
“And what I want to make clear is this, a man with a long history of racial discrimination drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids and these kind of white supremacist, white nationalist, anti-Semitic groups should never command our military,” she said. “If he doesn’t respect all Americans how can he serve all Americans?”
Mark Burns, an African-American pastor and prominent Trump supporter, appeared earlier on MSNBC, where he battled with panelists over why he supports Trump despite his lack of concrete policy proposals.
“Are you hopeful that, that, I don’t even know what to ask, actually. I’m sorry. Your candidate is saying things that are really—“ co-host Mika Brzezinski trailed off, trying to ascertain what was gained during the meeting.
The Rev. Al Sharpton asked, “Is he healed? Have y’all healed him of his…”
“We have laid hands on him, and I believe without a doubt Mr. Trump truly, truly wants to be a president for all Americans,” Burns remarked. “And I know without question there has been some language that has been controversial to some Americans. But I believe we’re just really in a very racially divided country right now and I think it’s just so imperative.”