On Trump's Answer To That Pesky White Supremacy Question

AP Photo/Julio Cortez
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

 

Let’s face it. President Trump accidentally gave the Democrats a gift during the debate when Fox News Host and Biden collaborator Chris Wallace asked him about condemning white supremacists. 

During last night’s battle royal between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, Wallace, who pretended to be a neutral moderator, asked the president if he would condemn white supremacists. To say the least, Trump’s answer was substandard, especially when looking at it from a strategic point of view. 

Here is the exchange:

Wallace: “Are you willing tonight to condemn white supremacist and militia groups…” 

Trump: “Sure.”

Wallace: “And to say that they need to stand down and not add to the violence in a number of these cities as we saw in Kenosha, and as we’ve seen in Portland?” 

Trump: Sure, I’m willing to do that but — 

Wallace: Are you prepared to specifically —

Biden: Then do it.

Wallace: Well, go ahead, sir.

Trump: I would say — I would say almost everything I see is from the left-wing, not from the right-wing. I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace…”

Wallace: “Then do it, sir.”

Biden: “Do it, say it.”

Trump: “What do you want to call them? Give me a name.” 

Wallace: “White supremacists and right-wing militias.”

Biden: “Proud Boys.”

Trump: “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left.” 

As you can see from the transcript, President Trump started out well, indicating that he’s willing to condemn white supremacy. But as you can see, the conversation devolves into crosstalk, and when Biden throws out “Proud Boys,” Trump then calls out the Proud Boys by name. 

The Democrats piled on, accusing the president of being in solidarity with white supremacists because of course they did. 

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) posted a tweet which read:

“President Trump was asked to condemn white supremacy.

He refused.

He told white supremacists to “stand back and stand by.”

President Trump is a national disgrace, and Americans will not stand for it.”

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) also weighed in. “Donald Trump won’t condemn white supremacists because he is one.” 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), everyone’s favorite socialist, also offered her input, stating that “Donald Trump is a white supremacist,” and claiming that “this is fascism at our door.”

I know what you’re thinking: “But Jeff, Trump has already denounced white supremacy multiple times!” 

Yep, you’re right. Not only has President Trump repeatedly condemned white supremacy, he even indicated in his Platinum Plan for Black America that he would designate the KKK as a terrorist group. Moreover, plenty of alt-right figures like Richard Spencer detest this president. 

But from a tactical standpoint, none of this matters. At that moment, Trump needed to deny the Democrats an opening for attack. He had to condemn white supremacy by name, then move on to more important things, like how white progressive Antifa members are wreaking havoc in American cities nationwide. He bungled the former but nailed the latter, and frankly, it cost him that section of the debate. 

Leading up to that point, Trump was trouncing Biden on race, bringing up the 1994 crime bill and his being wishy-washy on law and order. But those gains were washed away when he failed to avoid Chris Wallace’s trap — and yes, it was a trap. Wallace knew exactly what he was doing, and it worked. To put it simply, failing to deal with the white supremacy question effectively was like striking out while playing T-ball. 

President Trump knows better. 

Yes, we all know that even if he had handled the question effectively, they would still call Trump a racist. That’s because they don’t really care about racism. It works better in our favor when they display their hypocrisy by accusing people of racism without evidence.

But if there is a silver lining to this story, it is the fact that this will not be the last time Trump is asked this question. In fact, he was already asked the same type of question earlier today and his answer shows that he learns from his mistakes. 

Check out this C-Span video:

When the moderator of the next debate brings up this subject, Trump will likely be better prepared, and hopefully, he will knock it out of the park. Then, he can put the focus where it truly belongs: On Biden’s refusal to condemn Antifa by name. 

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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