Those who criticize Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims immigrants as “un-American” or “xenophobic” are the real racists, said CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord.
The former Reagan top aide has been something of a mouthpiece for Trump in recent months and, in the wake of the real-estate mogul’s Islamophobic proposition, took it upon himself to fire back at the candidate’s critics.
On Monday evening, the White House said Trump’s idea runs contrary to American values, and his GOP rivals each took turns swinging—Chris Christie called it “ridiculous,” John Kasich said it was “outrageous,” Jeb Bush said Trump's become “unhinged,” and Lindsey Graham described the candidate as a “xenophobe, racist, and a bigot.” (In response, Trump cited President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s WWII-era presidential proclamations declaring German, Italian, and Japanese nationals to be enemy aliens.)
“I just hear this business about it being ‘un-American,’” Lord lamented Tuesday to CNN host Chris Cuomo, before echoing The Donald. “Franklin Roosevelt got his authority to [make the proclamations] from what is called the Alien Enemies Act of 1798, signed into law by John Adams. It is still on the books this minute.”
Lord then used the opportunity to flip the script on Trump’s opponents. “Senator Graham has been in Congress for how many decades? Why hasn’t he repealed the law? According to Senator Graham, because this law is on the book and was used first against French immigrants, then British immigrants, then eventually German, Italian, and Japanese immigrants, he, Senator Graham, is a xenophobe and a racist and a bigot because he lets this thing sit there. And it is sitting there in the presidency of Barack Obama 217 years later.”
Cuomo was not convinced. “You’ve got my head spinning around right now,” he said. “If it was a bad idea then, it’s a bad idea now to exclude an entire group of people!”
“You were saying this is not who we are,” Lord fired back, “but this is who we are. It has nothing to do with Muslims. Nothing.”