The issue of race during the midterm elections got temperatures rising on CNN when one contributor called out U.S. President Donald Trump for his rhetoric.
During a discussion with host Chris Cuomo on Sunday, Republican political commentator Ana Navarro branded Trump “racist” in a debate with fellow commentator Steve Cortes, who supports the president.
Navarro served as a strategist for former Republican Governor Jeb Bush of Florida and the late Republican Senator John McCain but has said she will vote for a Democrat for the first time this year in her state of Florida's gubernatorial race. She said Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum ran a positive campaign compared with the GOP’s “campaign run on fear-mongering, division, hostility, gloom and doom.”
Trump has dubbed Gillum a “thief,” and the race for governor between him and his GOP opponent, former Representative Ron DeSantis, has been divisive.
Navarro said on Cuomo Prime Time that Trump insisted that “the alien invasion is coming” and he had repeated calls to build a wall, “despite the fact that…we [in Florida] are surrounded by water on three sides. I hope [the voters] reject the lies,” she said, according to Mediaite.
U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House after rallies in Macon, Georgia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, on November 4. He was branded a "racist pig" by CNN contributor Ana Navarro. OLIVER CONTRERAS-POOL/GETTY IMAGES
Cuomo weighed in, saying Trump is “playing a game” with his immigrant talk, to which Cortes responded, “You come from the presupposition that he’s racist.”
“No, I don’t,” Cuomo replied. “Don’t cheapen the logic of what he does, just follow what he says and when he says it and make your judgment.”
Navarro then spoke over Cortes. “Well, I think he’s racist. He called Mexicans criminals and rapists. He called El Salvador and Haiti shitholes. Sign me up in the category of the people who think he’s racist. He has said so many racist things,” Navarro said.
Cortes countered by saying: “You call him a racist when you don’t want to talk about policy.”
“He is a racist pig!” Navarro shouted before Cuomo brought the segment to a close, although Cortes did get the last word, by claiming that minorities were “thriving under his leadership.”
Trump appeared at a rally in Tallahassee on Saturday to shore up support for DeSantis. In the latest polls, Gillum holds a slight advantage over DeSantis by 48 percent to 46 percent.