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CNN Pressures Kasich to Link Trump to Steve King White Supremacy Comments

Grabien screenshot of John Kasich on CNN.

When Republicans condemned Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) for his comments defending “white supremacy,” even stripping King from all House committee assignments, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said it was nowhere near enough. The far-Left smear group wants the GOP to condemn Donald Trump. On Wednesday morning, CNN anchors pushed former Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) to jump on the SPLC bandwagon.

Kasich appeared on CNN’s “New Day,” condemning King’s comments — which he said “just went over the top.” He noted that Republicans have said, “Enough is enough.” The former Ohio governor said King should resign. “If he doesn’t resign, he might enjoy these last couple years because he’s not going to be back.”

CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota pressured Kasich to go further. “Do you think that this is a tipping point somehow for other things?” she asked. “For instance, so many people say, ‘Well, the president says offensive things routinely. The president says racially tinged things.'”

The former governor attacked Trump’s remarks following the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. “You remember Charlottesville. A lot of us spoke out.”

Camerota pressed him, “Is somehow Steve King a proxy for the frustration that so many people feel about what the president is saying, but they can’t take it out on the president?”

“I think that King’s comments are so blatant that … some deep down inside — and I like to think most — say this kind of hate speech is terrible,” Kasich said. But he refused to apply this condemnation to Trump.

“In terms of the president, you know, look, we can criticize him for what he did in Charlottesville, but he didn’t rise to the level — I didn’t think he rose to the level — nowhere close to where Steve King is,” the governor explained.

Camerota continued to press him: “He said there’s good people on both sides.”

“I thought it was outrageous what he said,” Kasich admitted. “Look, I didn’t even — I didn’t vote for him, okay? The division that he’s created in our country is what has concerned me.” He criticized Trump for focusing on his political base with the border-government shutdown battle.

CNN’s other anchor, John Berman, again directed the former governor back to the president.

“I want to ask you about the president again and Steve King. The president claims he hasn’t paid attention to the Steve King situation,” Berman said.

Kasich called on the president to address King’s comments. “Well, he should condemn it. Say this is wrong. That’s what he should do,” the former governor said. “But I don’t know what he’s going to do.”

He remarked that if Americans could predict what Trump is going to do, the media business would be transformed. “If we try to figure out what Donald Trump is going to do, okay, then we could actually prepare news like it used to be — three hours earlier. Now we prepare the news five minutes before,” he said.

Kasich has squandered his Republican credentials on so many issues, but he would not stoop to the level of the SPLC, despite CNN’s attempts to get him there.

On Tuesday, SPLC President Richard Cohen responded to the GOP’s condemnation of King by slamming them for not condemning Trump.

“If Republicans think they deserve applause for condemning Congressman Steve King’s racism, they’re sorely mistaken,” Cohen said. “Denouncing King was easy and long overdue. What’s really damaging to our country are not the words of a single congressman. Rather, they’re the ethnic nationalist policies of President Trump.”

The SPLC has joined the liberal effort to mark the word “nationalist” off-limits, suggesting it is always and everywhere a euphemism for “white nationalist.” Cohen’s words here are quite revealing. He clearly wanted to call Trump a “white nationalist,” but he knew he could not quite go that far, so he insinuated that Trump is a white nationalist by calling him an “ethnic nationalist.” In the context of Steve King, it is quite clear which ethnicity Cohen claims Trump is supporting.

Even the SPLC president knows he can’t quite call Trump a “white supremacist.” Heck, he can’t even directly call Trump a “white nationalist.” But he still wants the GOP to condemn Trump because the GOP condemned Steve King’s comments.

Camerota’s questions are similarly revealing. She asked Kasich, “Is somehow Steve King a proxy for the frustration people feel about what the president is saying, but they can’t take it out on the president?”

Liberals desperately — and I mean desperately — want to “take it out on the president.” Constant attacks on Trump make that explicitly clear. Whenever some horrific event happens, liberals rush to connect it to Trump as closely as possible. The SPLC even tried to tie the president to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, even though the shooter hated the president. Trump is far from perfect, but liberals desperately reach to call him Hitler.

John Kasich is far from a true conservative, but even he knows better than to stoop to their level.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.