REARDON: No Joe, Trump never called Neo-Nazis 'fine people'

The fact is there were dozens of regular people who were present and protesting that ugly day.

Mark Reardon
April 26, 2019 - 12:01 pm
Former vice president Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.

(Kirt Dozier/Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

It was the worst kept secret in all of politics. Everyone knew former VP Joe Biden was going to get into the race for President but it was just a matter of time.

So finally this week with the Democratic field already sitting at 20 candidates good ‘ol Uncle Joe got into the race. He released a video kicking off his campaign and his main messaging seemed to center around what happened when neo-nazi’s rallied in Charlottesville, Va in August of 2017.

You can watch Biden’s video kick off announcement here:

Like many other Democrats and media members since that ugly day Biden made the false claim that the President at the time called those despicable white nationalists and nazis who protested that day “good people.”

It’s almost like when Sarah Palin said “I can see Russia from my house.” The problem is she NEVER said that. It originated with a bit on Saturday Night Live.

The Trump situation is a little different since he did technically say the “good people” line but not only did he not use those words to describe the nazi and white nationalists protesting that day, he SPECIFICALLY called them out. Here’s the direct quote from a news conference after the event:

“I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.” 

But before he said that this was the line that got him into this mess that people have been lying about ever since:

“Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group.  But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides.  You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me, I saw the same pictures you did.  You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”

Look, I’ve always been someone who has criticized President Trump for reckless behavior and tweets. I think a lot of the things he says are wacky and misleading, and yes on many occasions he “stretches” the truth a bit. But in this case the same people who accuse the President of lying all the time and blatantly lying about his response that day in Charlottesville. How can you say that white supremacists should be “condemned totally” while at the same time being accused of heaping praise on a group of despicable human beings. 

The answer is you can’t. The fact is there were dozens of regular people—not neo-nazi’s and white nationalists who were present and protesting that ugly day.

Some people have questioned why the President hasn’t condemned those groups more often. But as Steve Cortes pointed out in an excellent piece on this subject recently he HAS. 

“Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”

You can read Steve’s piece in its entirety here.

Steve was a guest on my show recently to talk about this because I’ve been frustrated and baffled ever Charlottesville could still be making the case that Mr. Trump called Nazi’s “fine people”. 

He never did.