You’d probably have an easier time finding a tree with arms than a Trump team member who will openly admit to wrongdoing and try to move forward. This weekend on CNN, longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway had an epic meltdown when confronted with comments from her boss about the supposed “very fine people” on both sides of white nationalist-driven rioting in Charlottesville, Virginia, back in 2017. The commentary is back in the news because former Vice President Joe Biden referenced the incident in his just recently unveiled formal announcement video for his presidential candidacy.
Rather than attempt to reconcile Trump’s commentary with reality, Conway took the opportunity to attack Biden. Addressing host Michael Smerconish, she ranted:
‘You want to revisit this the way Joe Biden wants to revisit this, respectfully, because he doesn’t want to be held to account for his record or lack thereof. And I found his announcement video to be unfortunate, certainly a missed opportunity but also just very dark and spooky in that it’s taking us [back] — he doesn’t have a vision for the future. He doesn’t mention President Obama, the popular president he served for eight years in his video who has refused to endorse him.’
In reality, Biden says he asked Obama not to endorse him, and there’s precedent for him not doing so anyway. He didn’t endorse anyone in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries until Hillary Clinton had secured enough support to become the nominee.
There’s a larger issue, though. Conway adamantly refused to acknowledge that there was anything wrong with Trump having said there were “very fine people” on both sides of the incident in Charlottesville, even if on other occasions, like she mentioned, he did get around to explicitly condemning white nationalists and neo-Nazis. Smerconish asked Conway how “very fine people” could even stand with the white nationalists, and she had no answer, instead jumping into a diatribe against Biden and eventually claiming that people are “letting a big lie fly” who use Charlottesville as “shorthand” for racism allegations against the president.
Of course, it’s not as though Trump has done much to counter those allegations. He’s based the bulk of his national policy on the idea that women and children fleeing violence in Central America are dangerous thugs who should be confronted with the U.S. Armed Forces and a border wall, despite a nearly complete lack of evidence to back him up. There are no crime sprees when and where asylum seekers come in; the only tangible base on which Trump lays his attacks is the asylum seekers’ race. That’s — wait for it — racism.
In a haughty display, Conway claimed to Smerconish that she wouldn’t work in the White House if there was “any room for ambiguity and interpretation” surrounding the president’s views on racists and racism. What a nice alternative universe she must live in.
It’s worth noting, the Trump team has good reason to be wary of Biden, considering he’s on top of most polls, even the ones conducted well before he formally announced his presidential candidacy this past week.
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