Congressional Black Caucus Vice Chairman Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) praised Republican frontrunner Donald Trump for having “high emotional intelligence” but said he “knows better” than to isolate an entire group of people with his temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S.
“The old adage ‘when you know better, you do better’ is not applicable to Mr. Trump, who has very high emotional intelligence. I think Mr. Trump understands human psychology because he’s speaking to a constituency, but that kind of impulsivity and the kind of Machiavellian courting of a particular constituency just to garner more support speaks to someone who has demonstrated a lack of character when you are isolating an entire group when I believe he knows better than to do so,” Carson said on a conference call with other Democratic lawmakers.
Carson argued that Trump’s call to temporarily prohibit Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. as a way to combat Islamic terrorism is a discriminatory proposal. Referring to Trump’s campaign slogan, he said the real estate mogul seems to want to “Make America Hate Again.”
“It promotes prejudice and discrimination against Muslims, obviously. Friends, our nation is not at war with Islam or any other religion for that matter. Our nation is at war with those that seek to do us harm,” he said. “I’m a very proud Muslim-American who has served my country as a member of the law enforcement community, the intelligence community and as a representative.”
According to Carson, there are “huge discussions” going on about creating a “Muslim super PAC” to leverage the Muslim voting bloc the same way Hispanics and African-Africans have done for decades.
He called on Republican voters to “abandon” Trump.
“If our friends in the GOP are truly interested in broadening their appeal then it needs to abandon the very destructive, divisive leaders like Mr. Trump and commit to changing priorities and policies and practices in order to win over minority voters,” he said.
During the conference call, the participants accused the GOP presidential candidates of abandoning the Republican Party’s 2013 “Growth and Opportunity Project” known as its autopsy report.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus member Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) said the remaining candidates in the field particularly violated the section that says the Republican Party is one of tolerance and respect, which must ensure the tone of their message is consistent with those principles.
Becerra cited Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Donald Trump’s support for deporting individuals living illegally in the U.S. as contrary to the report’s recommendation. Becerra argued that Trump’s “beautiful” border wall would “rip apart and separate families for eternity.”
“It’s unfortunate for what was the ‘Grand Old Party’ that is seems to now have become a ‘Fractured Old Party,’” he said.
He also criticized Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) for comparing cutting in line at a concert to offering citizenship to illegal immigrants.
Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) said one of the main “motivations” for Democrats to get to the polls in November is to keep Trump out of the White House.
“Trump would take us backwards in terms of the issues we care about, whether it be immigration reform, funding for education or job creation. Instead we would go back to a time when we had none of this and in fact when only the elite could actually get ahead,” she said.