Josh Earnest Says Donald Trump's Muslim Ban Comments Disqualify Him From The Presidency
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest unleashed a scathing condemnation of Donald Trump's Muslim ban proposal, stating that it should be "disqualifying" for his presidential hopes, and those of any other Republican that supports him.
It wasn't all that surprising a statement, given how inflammatory Trump's campaign is, and how increasingly xenophobic and racist it's become in the aftermath of recent, high-profile terrorist attacks in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California. In fact, even some conservatives are starting to come around to the accusation that progressives have been directing at Trump for months: that he's a fascist, or at the very least, is leveraging fascist sentiments to try to vault himself into greater positions of power and visibility.
Simply put, it's a truly dangerous and irresponsible game he's playing — virtually an outright invitation for the worst elements of American society to rise to the forefront. And one that the White House, by way of Earnest, clearly wanted to speak out on. Here's what the press secretary told reporters about Trump, his proposed ban on Muslims entering the country, and how it reflects on the GOP as a whole, as detailed by CNN White House Producer Kevin Liptak.
The Trump campaign has for months now had a dust bin of history-like quality to it. From the vacuous sloganeering, to the outright lies, to the fake hair. The whole carnival barker-like routine that we've seen for a while now. The question now is about the rest of the Republican Party and whether they're going to be dragged into the dust bin of history with him. And right now the current trajectory is not good. Earlier this year House Republicans elected to their leadership somebody who famously bragged to a reporter he's David Duke without the baggage. Earlier this month we saw the executive director of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee was advising candidates on how they could ride the Trump wave.
And just today — today — the newly elected Speaker of the House said he would vote for Donald Trump for president if he’s the party’s nominee. Now I know that each of the Republican candidates has already taken an oath pledging to support Donald Trump for president of the United States if he wins the nomination. But the fact is the first thing a president does when he or she takes the oath of office is to swear an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the United States. And the fact is what Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president. And for Republican candidates for president to stand by their pledge to support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying.
Some of the Republican candidates have leveled varying degrees of criticism at Trump since he publicly advocated a ban on Muslims entering the country — Jeb Bush tweeted that Trump was "unhinged," and John Kasich's campaign called him "entirely unsuited to lead." The freshly minted Speaker Paul Ryan, who Earnest also called out, also criticized the billionaire candidate on Tuesday, as CNN detailed.
This is not conservatism. What was proposed yesterday is not what this party stands for.
Needless to say, this is the top news story in domestic politics right now, and it richly deserves the attention. Trump's political fortunes, after all, have been bolstered by an ostensibly fringe but hugely belligerent cabal of Republican supporters, who've been more than willing to have their worst behaviors enabled. Hopefully what's left of the Republican mainstream can get their party in order — otherwise, it could be left to the rest of us, in a general election, to prove that America really is better than Donald Trump.