Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher said GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain is “racist” and “bigoted” for his comment this week that African Americans have been “brainwashed” to not accept conservatism.
Belcher, a pollster for President Barack Obama, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Cain’s remarks exposed a “double standard” and should be a “teachable moment.”
“What Herman Cain said was a racist, bigoted statement and it should treated like a racist and bigoted person who makes those racist and bigoted statements,” Belcher said.
He added, “If I came on your show, Anderson, and I said, all Jewish people are brainwashed, I probably wouldn’t be invited back to CNN and I assure you the condemnation would be swift and it’d be powerful and be strong.”
This is hardly the first time Cain has come under fire for being a black conservative. Just this week, liberal actress Janeane Garofalo said he helped the GOP “hide the racist elements of the Republican Party.”
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, appearing on CNN with Belcher, said he wasn’t “going to get into racial politics” when Belcher repeated his hypothetical statement about Jewish voters. Fleischer continued to refuse to engage on the racism charge, attempting to steer the conversation toward Cain’s electoral prospects.
As Belcher said again Cain’s comments represented a “double standard,” Fleischer defended them, saying they were built on the “presumption” that “90 to 95 percent of African Americans vote a certain way — but when people start throwing the word “racism” around that’s when I end the conversation.”
When Cooper said people make blank statements about groups all the time, such as “liberals think this” or “independent voters think this,” Belcher said that wasn’t the point.
“Well, liberals didn’t have a history of Jim Crowe or slavery so it’s different,” he said.
Watch the full clip below, via CNN: