Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) on Sunday offered a timid defense of Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and argued that the Republican Party is not “anti-black,” despite President Donald Trump repeatedly insulting prominent black Americans’ intelligence.
In an interview with Blunt, NBC “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd brought up a critique of the President by Peter Wehner, who served multiple Republican presidents, that Trump’s “racist appeals aren’t even disguised anymore.”
Trump's made the same criticism of black athletes, black journalists & black Members of Congress. He attacks their intelligence. His racist appeals aren't even disguised anymore. The closest figure in modern national politics to Trump? George Wallace. Trump now defines the GOP.
— Peter Wehner (@Peter_Wehner) August 4, 2018
“Are you concerned that the President is defining the GOP as anti-black?” Todd asked, noting Trump’s attacks on Waters.
“Well, the GOP is not anti-black,” Blunt began.
“It’s always with an African-American when he questions intelligence,” Todd said. “That’s what makes a lot of people uncomfortable with what he’s doing.”
Blunt argued that Trump hadn’t “always” focused his attacks on African Americans — “I mean, look at what he said about his various opponents in the Republican primary” — but added, “I think you’ve got to be more careful in our society about what you say about people that are different than you.”
“And, you know, a lot of things, for instance, you could say about Maxine Waters, but to indicate she’s not a bright person is not one of them,” he continued. “She is very smart and very calculating.”
Blunt said he embraced Waters “as a person who has given a lot of time to public service, and has a different viewpoint than I do, but it’s not a viewpoint that’s not based on her factual view of the world.”