John Kasich Won’t Bite When Tapper Asks Him if Trump’s Racist: ‘I’m Not a Name-Caller’


After opening his show this afternoon by tearing into President Donald Trump’s description of African nations as “shithole countries,” CNN’s Jake Tapper brought on Ohio Governor John Kasich to discuss the president’s remarks and immigration in general.

At one point, Tapper told Kasich that he knew the former presidential candidate wanted to move forward and talk about DACA and the DREAMers, but he wanted to know if Kasich found Trump comments racist.

“I know you’re reluctant to label the president racist, but this is a president who suggested the first African-American president was born in Africa, he was sued by the Justice Department during the Nixon years for discriminatory housing practices against blacks in New York, he suggested they bring back the death penalty for the central park five, black and Latino teenagers falsely accused of rape. This is the president who said there we, quote, very fine people on both sides of the Charlottesville neo-Nazi Klan march. This is the president who suggested a judge with Mexican heritage wasn’t able to be fair because of his heritage and now this. I understand your reluctance to label him a racist, but what would it take for you to call someone’s words or actions racist?”

Kasich––who criticized the President’s remarks––noted that he ran against Trump in the 2016 GOP primary, didn’t endorse him for president, and didn’t vote for Trump in the election. But, at the same time, it really isn’t his bag to call folks racist.

“I’m not a name-caller,” the Republican governor told Tapper. “What would it take? I don’t know. I’m not into name-calling, I’m into policy.”

Later on in the discussion, Kasich deflected a question on whether Trump should be censured over the remarks by suggesting all of this was about “ratings” and clicks, causing the CNN anchor to push back.

“We don’t have to talk about this but I’m going to take issue with the notion that the president says something in which he denigrates an entire continent and the country of Haiti and I’m talking about it for ratings,” Tapper declared. “I’m talking about it because a lot of people were morally offended by it.”

Kasich explained that Tapper had asked him about Trump remarks three times and he’d expressed himself each time. He also stated that he wasn’t saying Tapper himself was doing it for ratings. Instead, Kasich just wants it known that we have to move on at some point because he’d rather take care of the DREAMers.

Watch the clip above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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