Rick Santorum blamed former President Barack Obama for increasing racial tensions in the nation.
The former Republican senator from Pennsylvania and two-time presidential candidate made the comments during a panel discussion on CNN which included former Obama aide Karine Jean-Pierre. (SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO)
Jean-Pierre said there was an “uproar” after Obama’s 2008 election as the nation’s first black president.
“And what Donald Trump did is he tapped into it because let’s not forget he started his political career talking about birtherism, being the spokesperson of birtherism,” she said, referring to the debunked conspiracy theory that claimed Obama wasn’t born in the United States.
“He saw something as well and tapped into that, tapped into that racism,” she said.
“What’s being ignored here is the role that Barack Obama played in all this,” he said. “I mean you just can’t go from well, we elected our first black president to all of a sudden we get Donald Trump. There was something in between those two things.”
Jean-Pierre interrupted to clarify that Obama’s election “tapped into something in this country.”
Santorum replied: “The thing it tapped into was that many, many, many people saw Barack Obama being just that, doing more to exacerbate racism in this country.”
“How?” asked Jean-Pierre. “What did he do?”
“Every time there was a controversy where someone in color was involved, he took the side of, many times, against the police ― he did it over and over and over again,” he said.
“He did it over and over and over again,” Santorum added. “President Obama was to many people out there someone who could have come together, brought this country together.”
Santorum has often shied away from criticizing Trump and instead chosen to focus on Obama.
Last month, he brushed off questions about false claims from Trump and said that Obama told more substantial lies.
“I think the substance of the previous president’s lies were much more important than the substance of what the crowd size was at the inaugural,” Santorum told CNN’s “New Day,” referring to Trump’s false claim that his inauguration crowd size was the largest in history.
He added that the media failed to hold Obama accountable and has chosen to be much tougher on Trump.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
June 5th, 2018