Santorum Makes Wild Comparison Between Proud Boys And Protesters

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September 30, 2020 1:36 p.m.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R) on Wednesday said Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s apparent failure to “go after his own” amid spats of violence during recent protests was just as bad as President Trump’s refusal during Tuesday night’s debate to condemn white supremacy.

Santorum prefaced the wild comparison by saying that Trump’s refusal to denounce white supremacy was a “bad error,” adding that the President has “condemned these groups before.”

The President’s spotty record on the issue has been repeatedly referred to by Republicans following the President’s remarks Tuesday, which Santorum called a “huge gaffe.”

But that “gaffe” has elicited celebration from the Proud Boys, a far-right hate group that the President told to “stand by.” The group lauded Trump’s remarks as a kind of “historic” validation that even brought in a wave of new recruits, according to posts on the group’s social media channels.

After lightly appearing to slap the President on the wrist, a move that was largely unprecedented for the former senator who has often stood by Trump amid past missteps, Santorum then equated Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy with what he called Biden’s failure to condemn “his own.”

“I think the President was right in pointing out that the left is out there, you know, in Portland and lots of other places, causing violence,” Santorum said, adding: “The fact that Biden didn’t go after his own was equally as reprehensible. “

The comment was the kind of false equivalency that makes your head spin.

Not only did Santorum align Biden with violence that the former vice president has spoke out against, but he also suggested that angry demonstrators with no apparent unifying affiliation are pretty much the same as an organized hate group that openly endorses violence and has demonstrated support for a white supremacist movement.

Earlier this month, FBI Director Christopher Wray in testimony to Congress said that antifa represented an ideology and was not an organized terror group or even a formal group.

“New Day” anchor Alisyn Camerota, in an apparent attempt to clarify Santorum’s comparison, asked if the former senator had intended to compare Biden’s reference to Wray’s assessment to Trump’s remark about the Proud Boys.

I don’t know that much about them,” Santorum quickly said, adding: “I just don’t think that the president is out there encouraging people to violence, because the president is for law and order, period.”

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