DALLAS (CBS11) – President Trump didn’t answer questions Friday after signing a proclamation for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and praising the Civil Rights leader’s legacy.
The President’s disparaging comments about countries in Africa, Central America and Haiti sparked an uproar Thursday.
Jara Butler, a Democratic activist and former board member of the Texas Young Democrats says Mr. Trump owes the American people an explanation. “I think he should answer the question of what he meant.”
Butler, who worked on Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign, says President Trump’s remarks about other countries are unbecoming of a world leader. “They are racially disparaging. They’re ignorant.”
Bill McIntyre, a Dallas Republican and strategist for the group Trump for Urban Communities defended the President. “I don’t think the President’s tone was racist.”
McIntyre says the President’s critics are just playing politics.
“It is easy to say racism to everything. That only goes so far. I think what happens is people need to see things for what they are.”
Butler says people can’t normalize the President’s comments. “Dr. King had a response that in the end it’s not necessarily the voice of our enemies we remember, it’s the silence of our friends and we can’t become tone deaf to this.”
An SMU political science professor says Republicans in office here in Texas are concerned.
He says the President’s remarks may boost Democrats in the upcoming state primary March 6 and beyond.
“Excitement builds in the primary, where if you feel your candidates have a serious chance of being elected in the general election in November, you came out to support them, you work for them, maybe you contribute to them.”
He says if Texas Democrats have a big turnout in November and Republicans don’t, that would have an impact on some races. “If Democratic numbers get driven up, that means a number of Texas House seats from the Mid-Cities area from around to the eastern part of Dallas could be available to Democrats.”
He says Democrats locally may also be able to pick up additional seats in Congress.