Texas GOP Representative Bill Flores is one of a growing number of Republican office-holders who are putting as much distance as possible between themselves and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. On June 8, Flores released a statement in which he said, “I cannot endorse Donald Trump at this time.”
Flores said that he has concerns about Trump’s “trash talking,” and he is particularly unhappy about Trump’s attack on federal judge Gonzalo Curiel. Amazingly the congressman still plans on voting for the presumptive GOP nominee, as he explained to Texas TV station KBTX:
When he started trash talking a federal judge because of his ethnic heritage, I felt like it was inappropriate. I intend to vote for Donald Trump, but its another matter to endorse him. What I want to see is vision, not trash talk.
On Wednesday evening, the influential congressman appeared on The O’Reilly Factor to talk about his concerns. Host Bill O’Reilly was obviously delighted, because it gave him a chance to talk about the thing he seems to like to pontificate about the most, even though it’s the thing he knows the least about: racism.
O’Reilly asks Flores whether he believes that Trump says “I don’t like Mexicans” when he wakes up in the morning. Flores replies that he doesn’t believe that Trump is a racist, but he makes statements that can be interpreted as racist.
Just to be sure, Bill-o asks again, “All right, so you don’t believe that he wakes up and he wants to denigrate Mexicans?” Again, Flores says “no.”
That exchange shows part of what O’Reilly doesn’t understand about racism. Racists don’t usually start off the day running through a laundry list in their head of races and ethnicities who they hate. But give them a chance to scapegoat a particular group for something, and the racism comes out. Trump stokes racial animus by offering scapegoats to his followers — Muslims and Mexicans being the usual targets.
If you still aren’t sure that the biggest ego on Fox News is clueless on race, check out what O’Reilly says next. He asks Flores,
Don’t you think it was more about Trump being angry with the judge’s decision in a civil litigation rather than the judge’s ethnicity?
This time, Flores pushes back.
It doesn’t make any difference because that’s not what the American people hear. The American people heard racism.
Then O’Reilly basically says that Trump can’t possibly be a racist because he has no record of being one.
I get your point, but I think you understand mine as well. That you don’t use the ‘r word’ unless you are David Duke, unless you have got a history of trying to denigrate minorities or other people.
What O’Reilly can’t acknowledge, the one fact that would make his entire argument fall apart is that the attacks on Judge Curiel are totally based on race. If Curiel wasn’t of Mexican heritage, Trump would have no basis for criticizing him. Can you imagine what it would sound like if Trump said, “Judge Curiel isn’t treating me fairly because he wears glasses and I don’t.” The one and only reason for The Donald’s attack is race. But don’t expect to hear anything like that from Bill O’Reilly.
Here’s the video, via Media Matters:
Featured image via YouTube screen capture