Republican Senate candidate Kris Kobach left CNN anchor Chris Cuomo gobsmacked Tuesday night when he had to seriously think about whether he’d continue to support Donald Trump for president if he openly admitted to being a racist, saying he’d have to weigh who Trump was running against.
Appearing on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time to discuss the House of Representatives vote to condemn Trump for the racist comments he made about four Democratic congresswomen of color, Kobach refused to agree with Cuomo that Trump purposely picked a “race battle” with the so-called “Squad.”
“He didn’t pick a race battle,” the former Kansas secretary of state said. “He picked a battle and the left and you choose to characterize it as a race battle.”
Noting that Kobach and other Trump allies are only able to defend the president because he has given them “cover” and insisted he’s “not a racist,” the CNN anchor upped the ante.
“What would you do if the president said, ‘I am a racist, that’s why I said it,’” Cuomo asked. “What would you do?”
“Then I would not defend him because there’s no excuse for racism in America,” Kobach replied.
Cuomo then asked if Kobach would still support Trump as president, prompting the former Kansas gubernatorial candidate to go silent for a beat before hemming and hawing.
“You’d have to think about it?!’ Cuomo exclaimed. “You have to think about whether or not you’d support a racist?! Really?”
“I’d have to know who was running against him,” the Kansas Senate hopeful said, prompting the CNN host to throw up his arms in disbelief.
“A racist?!?!” Cuomo shouted.
“If he said he was a racist then probably not, of course,” Kobach said. Cuomo, however, was still flabbergasted.
“An admitted racist, you would have to know more? Kris, come on, man, it can’t be that partisan!” Cuomo said.
Kobach, meanwhile, accused the Cuomo Prime Time host of dealing in “ridiculous hypotheticals,” causing Cuomo to fire back that it was “ridiculous that it took you that long to answer it.”
“You’re running for Senate and you’ve got to take a pause whether or not if he said he was a racist you’d still support him?” Cuomo continued. “Come on, brother, I hope it’s a satellite delay.”