ATLANTA – At a conference for liberal activists Friday, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison called the Republican Party “the party of racism.”
“You hear Republicans say, ‘We’re the party of Lincoln.’ He wouldn’t recognize these people,” Ellison, the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, said. “The fact is that the Republican Party today is the party of racism.”
Ellison was speaking at the Netroots Nation conference in Atlanta, an annual convention for young progressives. Ellison claimed President Donald Trump’s positions on immigration and refugees confirm that the GOP has racist tendencies.
“Now I’m not saying every Republican is a racist, but I’m saying their party does hold that up,” Ellison said. “It is the Republican Party in 2017 that says, ‘wall them off, ban them out, no transgender in the military.’ If it’s mean, if it’s racist, if it’s greedy, it’s coming from them.”
Ellison says voters will not find “perfection” in the Democratic Party. Ellison noted the Democrats’ history of segregationist candidates in the early 20th century, but he claimed that was eliminated by the mid-1970s.
“I’m going to be with the people who are most likely to win and have policies that are saying we do believe America is a nation of immigrants, we are against racism, we believe in civil rights and we do believe that there ought to be a right to organize and we need to address the climate,” he said, adding, “You’re not going to have perfection.”
While speaking as a part of a panel discussion at the conference, Ellison also addressed the recent threats from North Korea. According to the Daily Caller, gasps were heard from the crowd when Ellison called the North Korean dictator “more responsible” than Trump.
“You have this guy making bellicose threats against somebody else who has very little to lose over there,” Ellison said. “Kim Jong Un – the world always thought he was not a responsible leader. Well, he’s acting more responsible than this guy.”
Ellison later retracted his comments in an interview with the Washington Post.
“That was one of those I wish I’d not said,” Ellison told the Post. “It’s tailor-made for somebody to misuse. I’d say, he’s being incredibly irresponsible, and he’s putting us in a situation where you could have an accidental launch.”
Despite Ellison’s concerns, the Trump administration’s strong words to North Korea appear to have helped ease the situation. According to a Fox News report this morning, Kim Jong Un has backed down on threats to fire missiles towards Guam.