Rick Santorum: Trump can’t condemn right-wing extremists, it’s his base

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  • Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum said that asking President Donald Trump to denounce white supremacists is a low blow because they are his voter base. 
  • In Tuesday night’s presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump to denounce racism and the right-wing Proud Boys group.
  • Santorum later told CNN that Wallace “was asking the president to do something he knows the president doesn’t like to do.”
  • When asked to elaborate, Santorum said: “Which is say something bad about people who support him … talking about the white supremacists.”
  • During the debate Trump had answered Wallace’s question by telling Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum said that asking President Donald Trump to condemn right-wing extremists during Tuesday’s debate was unfair because it meant alienating the people who vote for him.

In a CNN interview Santorum, who in 2012 lost out to Mitt Romney as Republican Party nominee for president, suggested that debate moderator Chris Wallace set Trump up.

“The Democrats owe a lot to Chris Wallace,” Santorum said. “He asked two questions, where he was asking the president to do something he knows the president doesn’t like to do.”

When asked to elaborate, Santorum said: “Which is say something bad about people who support him. Right?”

“Talking about the white supremacists, number one.”

During the debate Trump was asked by Wallace if he would condemn right-wing extremism and the Proud Boys movement.

In the four-minute slot allowed for a response, Trump said the group should “stand back and stand by” instead.

In the CNN interview Santorum did say, however, that he thought Biden edged Trump in the overall debate. 

“I don’t think it worked for him tonight … I think he came out way too hot,” he said of Trump.





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