Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney hit Donald Trump over KKK
(CNN) — Donald Trump is under fire from Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, John Kasich and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley for not disavowing the Ku Klux Klan.
“You say, ‘David Duke’ to me, I say, ‘racist,’ immediately,” Rubio said in Atlanta, Georgia, at a rally on Monday. “Why wouldn’t he condemn the Ku Klux Klan? There is no room in the conservative movement and there is no room in the Republican Party for members of the Ku Klux Klan or racists like David Duke.”
Rubio was hitting Trump over his initial refusal on Sunday to disavow the former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, after the Republican front-runner blamed the incident on a bad earpiece.
“I don’t care how bad the earpiece is, Ku Klux Klan comes through pretty clearly,” Rubio said earlier in the day during a rally in Tennessee.
Trump had been asked about support for his campaign from the KKK and David Duke by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, with Trump repeatedly saying he “didn’t know” about Duke or the white supremacist groups enough to disavow them.
On Monday, the billionaire businessman said he was unable to hear the question due to a bad earpiece.
“I don’t mind disavowing David Duke,” Trump told NBC’s “Today” show. “I disavowed David Duke the day before at a press conference. They were there, CNN was there, and they gave me a lousy earpiece.”
Rubio enlisted Haley to help him on the campaign trail, and she picked up the thread as well.
Haley, who is of Indian descent, mentioned the 2015 Charleston church shootings, in which a white man killed nine people in a historically black church.
“We saw and looked at true hate in the eyes last year,” Haley said, raising her voice. “I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK, that is not a part of our party, that is not who we want as president, we will not allow that in our country.”
The business mogul was endorsed by the former Klan leader on Thursday.
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney also attacked Trump on Monday.
“A disqualifying & disgusting response by @realDonaldTrump to the KKK. His coddling of repugnant bigotry is not in the character of America,” tweeted Romney, who has been actively hitting Trump for days.
Kasich also disavowed White supremacists on CNN Monday when asked about Trump’s response.
“I don’t know what’s in his head,” the Ohio governor told New Day’s Alisyn Camerota. “All I know is that white supremacist groups have no place in our society and clearly not in the Republican Party.”
Rubio and Trump are in the midst of an escalating war of words, as a result of Rubio’s attacks on Trump during Thursday night’s debate.
On Monday, Rubio defended himself on one point: an attack from Trump on the size of is ears.
“You know what my ears are? They’re the way God made them,” Rubio told the Atlanta crowd, to applause.