GOP Congressman Roger Marshall of Kansas made a fool of himself on Thursday night, saying he’s proud to stand by Donald Trump, despite the president’s comments that America shouldn’t accept immigrants from “s**thole countries” composed of nonwhite majorities.
Marshall told MSNBC’s Joy Reid that he “absolutely” stands by Trump and believes he has “moved this country in an incredibly positive direction.”
GOP Congressman Says He ‘Absolutely’ Stands By Trump After ‘S**thole’ Remark pic.twitter.com/KfZnrdVmq4
— Sean Colarossi (@SeanColarossi) January 12, 2018
“Are you proud of Donald Trump as president?” Joy Reid asked. “Are you proud to have him as your president?”
A portion of the exchange that followed:
MARSHALL: I’m absolutely — stand beside Donald Trump, his policies. I think he’s moved this country in an incredibly positive direction. Our economy, three quarters in a row of 3 percent GDP growth —
REID: That was the same under President Obama. I’m assuming you’re proud of President Obama, because the economy hasn’t changed. Are you proud of the way he conducts himself as president?
MARSHALL: I stand right beside Donald Trump and his policies. I don’t agree with everything he says or tweets.
REID: Do you think that a president of the United States should divide the country? There are statements that staffers, according to CNN’s Kaitlin Collins, staffers inside the White House aren’t that worried about Trump’s s-hole remark, some predict it will resonate with his base … like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. Do you think that is appropriate for the President of the United States to perhaps intentionally divide the country by saying things he thinks will appeal to racists among his followers?
MARSHALL: I disagree with the whole premise of your question. I see that staff together —
REID: Really? Sounds like the staff says this is good for the country for him to say things like this because certain parts of his base will like the idea of calling majority nonwhite countries s-hole countries. They think that will resonate with his base. That’s your base too, right? You’re a Republican.
MARSHALL: I’m not sure — we don’t want to argue about who my base and is who Donald Trump’s base is —
REID: It’s the same base, Republican voters.
The Republican congressman can claim he only stands by Trump’s policies, not his racist rhetoric, but Marshall and his GOP allies shouldn’t get off so easy.
To support Trump’s policies is to support his hateful rhetoric. It’s a distinction without any real difference at all. Let’s remember where Trump was when he spewed the vile garbage that the United States shouldn’t accept immigrants from non-white countries: He was sitting in a meeting about – wait for it – immigration policy.
While Trump talks like a drunk man sitting alone at the end of a bar, he is the President of the United States. His words matter because they shape policies. They may be hateful and nonsensical ramblings, but they aren’t harmless.
Rep. Marshall may have thought he found an easy way out by dismissing Trump’s rhetoric and embracing his policy agenda, but you cannot do one without the other.