Former presidential candidate Herman Cain is pushing back against claims that President Donald Trump is a racist, despite recent comments by the president that suggest otherwise.
In a recent interview with Yahoo News, Cain insisted Trump “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body” and that his own experience as a presidential candidate gives him some insights into what the former real estate mogul has been through thus far. Cain, an outspoken Tea Party activist, enjoyed brief success in the Republican primary during the 2012 election.
“I have known [Trump] for many years. I have talked to people who work directly for him,” Cain said. “The man is a businessman. How could he be a racist? … His daughter married a person whose religious belief is Jewish. Good!”
“He doesn’t go around making statements that are racist in nature,” Cain added. “No, he says things where some people out there — especially people who don’t like him — try to spin it as being racist.”
Many Americans, especially nonwhite Americans, would beg to differ however. Earlier this year, Trump came under fire for his comments describing Haiti, El Salvador and countries in Africa as “shithole” countries, and saying he would prefer immigrants from nations like Norway instead. There were also his past birtherism comments insisting former president Barack Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. and his reluctance to condemn white supremacists after the deadly rally in Charlottesville last summer.
Still, Trump maintains he’s “the least racist person you’ll ever meet.” Cain seems to agree, saying he’s never witnessed anything at Trump’s campaign events that would suggest he’s bigoted toward minorities.
“When he was campaigning, I spoke at three of his rallies,” he told Yahoo News. “There were plenty of Black people and Hispanic people there trying to help him get elected. I never saw him try to put anybody down … The people who do not like him are trying to stick him with a racist label, which is not true.”
As for Trump’s disparaging remarks about African nations, Cain placed blame on the media for “misconstruing” his words and argued the president was only describing the conditions of those nations, not its people. The syndicated radio host said he doesn’t believe Trump used crass language at all, but acknowledged his antics can be off-putting to some folks.
“Yes, he has said some things maybe when he was using his Twitter account that may have been a little rough around the edges. I get that!” Cain told the news site. “… And there are certainly some that make some of us cringe a little bit. But, I love the title of the book that came up recently written by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie: ‘Let Trump Be Trump.'”
And Cain is doing just that. According to him, looking past the president’s harsh language and personality, and instead focusing on the results of his policies will help critics see just how great of a job he’s done in his first year.
As for Cain himself, the politician said he has no plans of running or office again anytime soon.
“The answer is no, I have run out,” he concluded. “I’m not running again. I don’t have this lifelong desire to be constantly running for political office.”