CNN’s Henderson: GOP ‘Race Baiting’ Created Trump

On Sunday’s Inside Politics, CNN political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson argued that Donald Trump’s controversial remarks surrounding Mexican immigrants were a problem of the GOP’s “own making.”

The former Washington Post reporter sounded like a Democratic strategist when she told the CNN panel “a lot of the sort of politics around race, and sort of race baiting have defined the Republican Party for quite some time.”

Earlier in the segment, host John King promoted how “Hillary Clinton sees a golden opportunity” regarding Trump’s immigration statements. Jackie Kucinich of the Daily Beast responded that the GOP was in “danger” having Trump on the debate stage “because he’s going to say something inflammatory and they're going to have to react.”

King continued to play up the supposed trouble GOPers will have in dealing with Trump on the debate stage and asked “[d]o you take him on and say, I stood up to Donald Trump? Or do then you still make it Trump's debate and you're trying to avoid that? I’m not sure the calculations.” 

Henderson quickly criticized the GOP for allegedly instigating Trump’s inflammatory “rhetoric” and falsely claimed that his controversial views have gained him support within the mainstream of the Republican Party: 

And so, they want to kind of push back on him now, but over the last couple of years we saw him really rise through the ranks. He was a birther before he was talking about all of this stuff now and that had obviously racial undertones as well.  

Given that Nia-Malika Henderson is an actual reporter with CNN and not a liberal pundit, would she accuse the Democratic Party of fueling much of the extreme views of Al Sharpton or would she not hold the party accountable for his harsh rhetoric? Instead, the former Post reporter sounded no different from a Democratic strategist as she accused the GOP of fueling a “race baiting” environment within its party. 

See relevant transcript below. 

CNN’s Inside Politics 

July 12, 2015

JOHN KING: Now, a lot of them, Jackie, have taken issue with Donald Trump. Not all. Ted Cruz says good for him. He's raising the issue. Maybe I wouldn't use the same exact language but he's raising this important issue. But others, governor Bush, Lindsey Graham and so on and so forth have said whoa, stop. But Hillary Clinton sees a golden opportunity. 

JACKIE KUCINICH: Well, and that’s going to be the biggest danger to have Donald Trump in those debates. Having the other Republicans having to respond in real time to what he says. And that's going to be something I have to imagine that their strategists are coaching them on right now because he’s going to say something inflammatory and they're going to have to react. 

KING: But what do you do there? Do you take him on and say, I stood up to Donald Trump? Or do then you still make it Trump's debate and you're trying to avoid that? I’m not sure the calculations. 

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: That’s the thing, because Trump himself is so unpredictable, right? I mean, he's like a caged lion. You just don't know where he's -- 

KING: Uncaged, I think he’s an uncaged lion. 

HENDERSON: He’s an uncaged lion. He’s a lion on the loose. And if you poke him, you know, you're going to be in trouble. And that's what we've seen. He just ramps up his rhetoric. I do think this is in some ways a problem with the Republican Party's own making. If you turn back to 2012 you remember with Mitt Romney on stage next to Donald Trump saying that he was honored and delighted to have his endorsement. 

And a lot of the sort of politics around race, and sort of race baiting have defined the Republican Party for quite some time. And so, they want to kind of push back on him now, but over the last couple of years we saw him really rise through the ranks. He was a birther before he was talking about all of this stuff now and that had obviously racial undertones as well. 

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential CNN Inside Politics Nia-Malika Henderson Donald Trump

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