MEDIA
06/03/2018 11:52 pm ET

Rick Santorum Blames Obama For Increased Racial Tensions In The U.S.

Obama did "more to exacerbate racism in this country," Santorum claims.

Rick Santorum on Sunday blamed former President Barack Obama for increasing racial tensions in the nation.

The former Republican senator from Pennsylvania and two-time presidential candidate made the comments during a panel discussion on CNN which included former Obama aide Karine Jean-Pierre. 

Jean-Pierre said there was an “uproar” after Obama’s 2008 election as the nation’s first black president. 

“And what Donald Trump did is he tapped into it because let’s not forget he started his political career talking about birtherism, being the spokesperson of birtherism,” she said, referring to the debunked conspiracy theory that claimed Obama wasn’t born in the United States

“He saw something as well and tapped into that, tapped into that racism,” she said.

Santorum disagreed.

“What’s being ignored here is the role that Barack Obama played in all this,” he said. “I mean you just can’t go from well, we elected our first black president to all of a sudden we get Donald Trump. There was something in between those two things.”

Jean-Pierre interrupted to clarify that Obama’s election “tapped into something in this country.” 

Santorum replied: “The thing it tapped into was that many, many, many people saw Barack Obama being just that, doing more to exacerbate racism in this country.” 

“How?” asked Jean-Pierre. “What did he do?”

“Every time there was a controversy where someone in color was involved, he took the side of, many times, against the police ― he did it over and over and over again,” he said.

See the full discussion above. The comments about Obama begin at the 8-minute mark.

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