GOP Senate Nominee Cramer Compares Cages For Migrant Kids To Playgrounds

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 9: Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N. Dak., speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) pushed back hard on the idea that keeping border-crossing children in chain-link cages was inhumane, defending the practice in two local radio shows on Wednesday.

Cramer, who’s running against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in a top-tier Senate race, called the facilities “humane” during a Wednesday appearance on KTGO, a local radio station that broadcasts in the Bakken Oil Fields.

“By the way, chain link fences are around playgrounds all over America, all over North Dakota. And chain link fences allow line-of-sight visual connectivity with children and families,” he said as he discussed reversing President Trump’s policy to let families stay together at the border. “You know, there’s nothing inhumane about a chain link fence. If it is, then every ballpark in America is inhumane.”

Cramer then went on to say he supported changing the law to allow families to stay together when they enter the country illegally, and supported House Republicans’ dueling pieces of immigration legislation that are expected to receive a vote this week that would address this issue.

The comments came before Trump announced he’d reverse his recently implemented strategy of separating children and parents at the border with an executive order, reversing his previously held false position that only Congress could act to stop it.

Cramer doubled down on his comments when asked about them later in the day on WDAY, another local radio station, calling the focus on the cages “hoopla.”

“I think [chain] linked fences is irrelevant to the crying of children. My commentary is on the chain-link fence,” he said when asked about the comments and whether he’d heard the audio of children wailing after being separated from their parents. “There’s all this hoopla, because I think there are people on the left that clearly want the country to fail at this. And they would like the chain-link fence, they called it ‘dog cages.’ Well, chain-link fences have been used to protect children from predators on playgrounds, baseball diamonds, all sorts of sports courts and what-not. To me it’s not the chain-link fence, that’s not the issue. That’s a ruse by some on the left to try to create an image that’s far worse in description than it is in reality,” he said.

“The actual value of the chain-link fence is you could see through it, that’s the value of the chain link. If they put up a sheet rock wall between the children and the workers, the people there to protect them, to me that would be far worse,” Cramer continued. “The chain link fence, let’s not use that as some sort of a weapon. There’s a broader conversation about the separation of families in general, but as I’ve said before, that happens throughout the country many times. Kris [his wife] and I have been foster parents. We know all about the separation of children from their parents who do the illegal things, it happens in every city of the country every day.”

Senate Republicans initially had opposed having Cramer, a close ally of Trump’s, as their candidate for Senate precisely because of his penchant for controversial comments. After failing to find a better alternative they circled back to him. Cramer initially said he wouldn’t run, but changed his mind after Trump pushed him to jump into the race.

Cramer has since stirred up some controversies, including comments that Trump wasn’t campaigning as hard against Heitkamp as some other vulnerable Senate Democrats because “she’s a woman,” and sought and received an endorsement from a virulently anti-gay group that compares transgender people to pedophiles.

This is the latest instance of a remark that may generate some backlash.

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Notable Replies

  1. And chain link fences allow line-of-sight visual connectivity with children and families,” he said

    Not if the family is tens or hundreds of miles away, you colossal fucking idiot.

    You are the dumbest man alive.

    A four year old would consider this gotcha to be banal and trite, if the four year old knew those words. GOTCHA, ACTUALLY YOU CAN SEE THROUGH CHAIN LINK, SINCE OBVIOUSLY IT WAS THE MATERIAL PROPERTIES YOU HAD A PROBLEM WITH, CHECKMATE LIBTARD

  2. and a Skinner box is just like a crib
    and a strait-jacket is just like a windbreaker
    and Cramer is just like a man

  3. Oh, sweet Jesus, they cannot stop, can they? They truly cannot stop themselves from opening their mouths and letting the words pour out. Our airwaves and TVs and digital media are being infested with their comments.

  4. I dunno, there is a whole party full of ignorant boneheads competing for that title. We need to establish some guidelines for selection or we’ll be arguing all night…

  5. Maybe ND won’t be so close?

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