On Meet The Press, Trump Surrogate Says “There Is An Otherness” To President Obama

Alex Castellanos: The Real Question About Obama Is Not Where He Was Born But “Has He Considered Himself More Of A Globalist Than An American?”

From the September 18 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:

Video file

CORNELL BELCHER: This birtherism stuff is a soft place for racism to land. It is a soft place for racism to land plain and simple. We've had a couple hundred years of presidents now and none of them have had this attack on them. The othering of the president, the making him not a real American -- 


CHUCK TODD (HOST): Mark Penn wrote about other. Did you think he was toying in that world? 

ALEX CASTELLANOS: Before you answer, I have it here. From his memo, which Mark called “lack of American roots” in which Mark Penn says, quote, “I cannot imagine America electing a president during a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and values.” Now if Donald Trump had said that in 2008, we would all be sitting here saying, well that was the start of the birtherism. 

BELCHER: But no, he's been saying it for several years. It never came form Hillary's mouth and I don't know --

CASTELLANOS: Just her strategist.

BELCHER: Well it's coming form your candidate. It's been coming from him for quite a while.


TODD: Answer that part of it, Alex. When do two wrongs make a right? Why -- he did it for five years after the fact. How do you explain that away? 

CASTELLANOS: I would explain it this way. Being on the Trump team that, I think these two candidates are being treated very differently on this very issue. Because this is something that Hillary Clinton's campaign started when it was convenient for her but the media covers it as if it is only Donald Trump who has taken the campaign --

BELCHER: Alex, I've got to tell you --

KATY TUR: That's not really an answer.

CASTELLANOS: And by the way -- there isn't -- there's an answer here. I think the big question about Obama is not where he was born or his faith. The big question about Obama has been, has he been -- has he considered himself more of a globalist than an American? There is an otherness to this president. And people have tried to exploit that politically in different ways. The Clinton campaign tried to exploit it this way. The way their strategist said, by saying his lack of American roots is an issue. 


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