As Trump explained in this October 2018 rally for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), we should take the term “nationalist” literally and use it — a lot. “Use it. Use it,” he told his cheering crowd. The Republican reaction? They hummed loudly, looked into the middle distance and changed the subject.
But now Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a long-regarded racist, is saying almost the same thing Trump said, but leaving in the word, “white” before “nationalist.” Even as he follows the Trump, “Take this literally” line (after all, like Trump, King is white and he is a nationalist), Republicans are reacting like they touched a hot stove.
Well kinda. Cruz said King’s statement was “stupid,” but he didn’t say King is, or that he is racist. Still, why didn’t Ted and all the others call it out when Trump said nearly the same thing? Clearly, it’s those bright yellow stripes down their backs when it comes to criticizing Trump.