CNN Commentator Calls Out Donald Trump's “Xenophobic” Rhetoric

Margaret Hoover: “When You Say ... You've Got To Build A Wall, The Mexicans Are Rapists, Keep All The Muslims Out. You Know This Is Rhetoric That Is Xenophobic Rhetoric”

From the February 10 edition of CNN's New Day:

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MARGARET HOOVER: Donald Trump is playing on what is a very dominant strain in American politics, it starts with Andrew Jackson. Remember Pat Buchanan won in 1996 in New Hampshire. Although Donald Trump isn't Pat Buchanan, it's the same strain in American politics. It is Jacksonian populism combined with this xenophobic nationalism. And that is the strain that is pulling him through, along with this real disgust for insiders. He's the outsider who truly isn't beholden to anyone. And that is the inertia that is carrying him through the rest of the race. 

CHRIS CUOMO (HOST): Do you believe it is just inertia, Mr. Lord? What do you think is fueling the rise of Trump? 

JEFFREY LORD:  Good morning there, Christopher. Well, I do think that he has touched a nerve here with Republicans who are very upset with the establishment. I would disagree with Margaret. This has nothing to do with xenophobia. Donald Trump, of course, is the grandson and son of immigrants and married to an immigrant. This is about fixing the immigration system so that it works properly. That's basically all it is. There's nothing xenophobic about that, and in fact I think that, you know, his supporters, all of those people that voted last night, are mightily tired of being pegged as racists and bigots and xenophobes and xenophobic and all of the rest. 

HOOVER: It's just that's hard though, Jeffrey, when you say, you know, you've got to build a wall, the Mexicans are rapists, keep all the Muslims out. You know this is rhetoric that is xenophobic rhetoric, and that's -- I'm not calling everyone that supports him a xenophobe, but the real case is that he has hit a strain with the number one immigration issue: economics and immigration. And those are the two issues that are motivating people to the polls and that those supporters, people are concerned about those issues are voting for Trump over everybody else in the Republican field.

LORD: Margaret, he is talking about illegal immigration, not Mexicans. Illegal immigration. There is a considerable difference. When you have illegals crossing a line and killing a 17-year-old kid, black kid in Los Angeles, who's a star student, a star scholar, a star athlete, and he's on his way to either Stanford or Rutgers and he's shot to death by an illegal immigrant, that shouldn't have happened. That is wrong. There's nothing right with that.

HOOVER: Nobody is going to argue that should have happened, Jeffrey Lord. The issue is, you know, do you build a wall? Do you have that rhetoric? Do you take a candidate seriously? Do their words mean anything? Or do you, you know, Jeb Bush has a plan for this too. Marco Rubio has a plan for this too. But Donald Trump says get them all out, build a big wall, then you create a big beautiful door, have them come back through. I mean this is just rhetoric that is unparalleled in American history, frankly, for the GOP nomination.


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