Original article published in The Hill by Rebecca Klar available here
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the only Republican currently challenging President Trump in 2020, called the incumbent a “raging racist” during an appearance at the NAACP convention.
“Let’s get one thing out of the way right at the beginning: Donald Trump is a raging racist, okay. He’s a complete and thoroughgoing racist and he made that choice as a choice a long time ago,” Weld said at the forum in Detroit.
Weld recalled Trump’s controversial history working with his father in the New York housing business. The Trumps “famously” tried to keep people of color out of their housing projects, Weld said.
“That apple didn’t fall far from the tree,” Weld said.
Trump made a “choice” to be racist — and now the GOP has a choice, too, on whether to reject the president’s “racism,” the long-shot Republican candidate said.
“And a lot of them like to think it’s a political choice, but it’s not a political choice. It’s a moral choice,” he said.
“And unless the Republican party in Washington expressly, expressly rejects the racism of Donald Trump they’re going to become to be universally viewed as the party of racism in America,” he said.
Weld has issued a call for Republicans to denounce Trump before.
Following chants of “send her back” at Trump’s recent rally in North Carolina, in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Weld tweeted, “We are in a fight for the soul of the GOP, and silence is not an option.”
The Trump campaign did not immediately reply to a request for comment from The Hill.
If elected president, Weld said he would work closely with the NAACP on issues “near and dear” to him, including the expansion of educational funding across school districts and criminal justice reform.