WATCH: Rick Santorum Blames Obama for Trump's Racism

From the June 3 edition of CNN’s State of the Union:


DANA BASH (GUEST HOST): President Obama said something, according to a new book by his former adviser Ben Rhodes, that really is interesting because it’s really about this whole notion of a culture war. He said the following, “maybe we pushed too far. Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe. Sometimes I wonder whether I was ten or 20 years too early.” For him, you know, he’s talking about culture, he’s talking about identity politics. Do you agree?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I can understand that the president, President Obama, is now reflecting. Especially what we’ve seen in the last two years. Look when I was in the White House the first two years, I worked on both elections, and what we saw was pretty horrific. You elect the first black president and there was an uproar. You saw the Tea Party, you saw the obstruction by Republicans time and time again. And I would say it was swung. We get the first black president and then we swung and elected Donald Trump. And it is kind of problematic. There is something -- it says a lot about this country. And what Donald Trump did is he tapped into it. Let’s not forget, he started his political career talking about birtherism, being the first person of birtherism and so he saw something as well and tapped into that, tapped into that racism that we have been seeing for the last, in particular very heavily so, the last ten years. And so this is where we are. He’s taking that, Donald Trump is taking that, and ran with it. And let’s not forget how he capped off his first year, we saw neo-Nazis marching in [Charlottesville] and what does he say? There are fine people on both sides. This is the president of the United States that we’re talking about.       

RICK SANTORUM: What is being ignored here is the way that Barack Obama played into all this. I mean we just can’t go from, oh we elected our first black president, all the sudden we get Donald Trump. There was something in between those two things --

JEAN-PIERRE: No, I’m saying that we tapped into -- we tapped into something in this country.

SANTORUM: The thing that tapped into was that many, many, many people saw Barack Obama being just that. Doing more to exacerbate racism in this country.

JEAN-PIERRE: What did he do? What did he do?

SANTORUM: Every time there was a controversy where someone of color was involved, he took the side, many times against the police, against the people of -- he did it over and over and over again. President Obama was, to many people out there, someone who could have come together and brought this country together.

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