Caldwell later appeared on MSNBC to further talk about his reaction to Trump’s remarks.
“I think the question that’s on a lot of our viewers’ minds is ‘Where were you all of last year?'” Joy Reid asked Caldwell. “He’s been doing this for quite a while, did you just miss it?”
“No, I didn’t miss anything,” Caldwell responded.
The Republican strategist told Reid — who was filling in for Chris Hayes — that he has both agreed with and criticized the president in the past but was “saddened” and “disgusted” by what was said at yesterday’s press conference.
“It reminded me of conversations I had with my grandfather James Williams who lived back in the south in Helena, Arkansas — who escaped Helena, Arkansas, because of the racism that was going on and the Klan activity,” Caldwell elaborated. “It brought me to tears. That’s what I was thinking about when I had that segment earlier today.”
Knowing that Trump and Steve Bannon, who gave the alt-right a platform via Breitbart, were on the same team, Reid asked Caldwell, “Did you vote for Donald Trump?”
“Pardon me?” Caldwell reacted.
“Did you vote for Donald Trump?” Reid repeated.
Caldwell said his vote was “always private” but mentioned that Bannon’s reaction to Trump’s press conference was “troubling.”
Democratic Pollster Fernand Amandi claimed that the GOP’s condemnation of bigotry “is not nearly enough.””
“Outside of the international shame and condemnation that Donald Trump brought to our nation, the shaming of our people and our country, what Donald Trump did yesterday was kill the Republican Party,” Amandi said.
“I disagree with that,” Caldwell shook his head.
“What exists today 24 hours later is not the Republican Party; it’s the Republic-KLAN!” Amandi said. “It’s the Republic-Klan Party.”
Amandi criticized Republicans for “not leaving” the party and slammed both former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush for not calling out Trump by name.
Caldwell pushed back by saying there are racists in both parties and several Republicans like John McCain have called out Trump by name.
Watch the clip above, via MSNBC
[featured image via screengrab]
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