Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang echoed many of his primary challengers on Friday by contending that President Donald Trump is a white supremacist.
“To me, you should judge an individual by their actions and words,” Yang replied to CNN’s John Berman when asked why it’s important to directly refer to Trump as a white supremacist.
“So, in this case, it’s very clear the president’s actions and words have conveyed a very strong sense to many, many Americans that he has white supremacist beliefs,” he continued. “That’s the only standard we can go by.”
Yang reiterated his response after Berman asked him directly if he believes that the president is a white supremacist.
“I mean, again, if someone acts and speaks in a certain way, then you have no choice but to say that’s what he is,” Yang answered.
Yang’s remarks come after a host of other Democratic presidential candidates made similar statements in the wake of two back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
Just hours after the first shooting spree in El Paso, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) appeared on multiple news programs to accuse Trump of being a racist who incited the mass murders.
“He is [a white supremacist],” O’Rourke said later on Wednesday. “He’s also made that very clear. He’s dehumanized or sought to dehumanize those who do not look like or pray like the majority here in this country.”
O’Rourke, however, has made multiple comparisons between the president and Nazis. In late July, he likened Trump’s campaign rally to a “Nuremberg rally” and, weeks later, he argued that Trump's rhetoric is similar to someone in Nazi Germany’s Third Reich.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also said that she believes Trump is a white supremacist and has supported the racist movement as a way to divide the country.
“He has given aid and comfort to white supremacists,” Warren told The New York Times on Thursday. “He’s done the wink and a nod. He has talked about white supremacists as fine people. He’s done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country.”
Another outspoken critic of the president, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), also agreed with Warren and O’Rourke. Sanders told CNN on Sunday that he believes Trump is either “a white supremacist or a white nationalist.” However, a senior campaign official reportedly followed up and confirmed that Sanders believes Trump is both.
The self-proclaimed democratic socialist has long accused the president of espousing racist views.
“We must be honest and straightforward and say that we have a president who is a racist, a president who is a sexist, a president who is a homophobe, a president who is a xenophobe, and a president who is a religious bigot,” Sanders said in November while addressing Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference. “It gives me no joy to tell you that, but that is the simple truth and we’ve got to confront the truth.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden argued that Trump "fanned the flames of white supremacy" and that he is "openly racist."
"The sad thing about this is it's no longer really a debatable point. There is just a long list of statements and tweets and behaviors from this president that make it very clear that he possesses hate and that he is divisive and that he is a racist," Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said on the issue. She further noted that he is "someone who empowers white supremacists and who condones their behavior."
Trump, however, has repeatedly denounced the hate-filled ideologies. Following the deadly mass shootings, he addressed the nation, calling for all Americans to join him in doing so.
"In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy," Trump said from the White House. "These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul."