Monday, February 4, 2019

Sherrod Brown: 'We have a president who is a racist'

Sherrod Brown

Potential 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, lamented on Sunday the state of race relations in the U.S., claiming there is an absence of leadership on the issue from the White House as Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam faces controversy over a racist photo on his 1984 medical school yearbook page.

“Well, I think this country hasn't dealt well with the issues of race. I mean, we have a president who is a racist," Brown said during an interview with NBC News' "Meet the Press." "I mean there's just no question about that. We know the president doesn't tell the truth frequently. We know he lies frequently. And we know of his racial back — racist comments and background.”

This is not the first time Brown has criticized Trump in recent days. During the launch event last week for his "Dignity of Work" listening tour, a trip that will take him to early-voting states as he continues to mull a White House bid, he skewered Trump for his interpretation of populism.

“[Trump] uses his phony populism to distract from the fact that he has used the White House to enrich billionaires like himself. Real populism is not racist,” Brown said in Cleveland.

Northam, a former pediatric neurologist, apologized Friday for the racist image on his medical school yearbook page showing someone wearing blackface and another wearing Ku Klux Klan garb. He later backtracked, saying during a press conference Saturday he did not believe he was depicted in the photograph and that he did not choose the image to appear on his page. At the same time, Northam admitted to wearing shoe polish on his face when he dressed up as singer Michael Jackson for a dance contest in 1984.

Northam has balked at the idea of resigning, signaling his intention to serve the remainder of his term.

Trump called the Northam scandal, as well as the governor's recent support for a late-term abortion bill, "Unforgivable!" He also predicted that Northam's GOP rival in 2017, Ed Gillespie, would have won by 20 points if the racist photo surfaced before the election.


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