*President Obama’s compassionate, heartfelt comments on the Trayvon Martin tragedy demonstrated, once again, that Mr. Obama cares deeply about all Americans and that he is committed is to bringing us together as a truly United States. So, how infuriating, sad and how typical it was when Republican Presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum twisted our President’s beautiful and very appropriate words about Trayvon Martin.
In expressing his compassion for and identification with Trayvon Martin’s family, President Obama said that if he had a son, that son would look like Trayvon. Gingrich seized on that and told conservative radio host Sean Hannity, quote: “Is the president suggesting if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it wouldn’t look like him? That’s just nonsense. I mean, dividing this country up, it is a tragedy this young man was shot.”
Well, of course, the President did not mean anything even remotely similar to what Gingrich suggests.
Meanwhile, Rick Santorum appeared on a different radio show and pontificated, quote: “What the president of the United States should do is try to bring people together, not use these types of horrible and tragic individual cases to try to drive a wedge in America.”
Gingrich and Santorum completely missed the point. Or, perhaps they deliberately misrepresented President Obama in an attempt to make him look bad and to make themselves look good in the eyes of the angry, white, far right voters who form their base?
That’s been their tactic throughout the Republican primary season. Rick Santorum singled out black folks when he was asked about welfare and he called President Obama a snob because the President encourages parents to send their kids to college. Newt Gingrich suggested that low income blacks suffer high unemployment because they lack a work ethic — and Gingrich arrogantly offered to lecture the NAACP on this subject.
Of course it’s ridiculous for these two guys to accuse someone else of being racially divisive – particularly President Obama who has been on a mission to unite our nation since before he was elected President. In fact, that’s one of the reasons that he was elected President.
So, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum failed in their mean-spirited, politically-motivated effort to demonize President Obama over the Trayvon Martin situation. Most Americans aren’t trying to sip the hater-ade that Gingrich, Santorum and their ilk keep ladling out. This kind of extreme conservative posturing is precisely the reason that Santorum and Gingrich have failed to energize Republican voters in most of the GOP primaries. And it is why neither of men has a realistic hope of becoming the Republican Presidential nominee.
President Obama said and did the appropriate thing in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum wound up slinging mud on themselves.
Thanks for listening. I’m Cameron Turner and that’s my two cents.
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