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HCDP Chair calls latest Trump birtherism statement “a despicable charade”

CONWAY, Sept. 16 – Horry County Democratic Party chair Bennie Swans this afternoon denounced GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s concession that — after five years of spreading hate, bigotry and “raving birtherism” — President Obama was born in the United States after all.

Bennie Swans“I want to join with fellow Democrats, independents, moderates, and generally sane people everywhere in denouncing not only the content of Trump’s remarks this morning, but also the truly horrendous lie he repeated,” Swans said. “And the trick he played on the media last night, claiming he was going to have a major announcement at 10 a.m., then showing up an hour late, then presenting a half-hour infomercial on his new hotel, then cloaking himself with some military endorsements, before delivering his whopper-clad concession, with no apology whatsoever.”

“Let’s not pull punches,” Swans said. “The birtherism movement was and is racist on its face, and Trump led it for five years. In retracting one lie he told two more.”

Many national Democrats as well as members of the media have joined in the chorus of outrage against Trump’s remarks.

Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, head of the Congressional Black Caucus called Trump a “disgusting fraud” after five years of attempting to delegitimize the president. And in a series of Tweets, Clinton herself said Trump’s statement was a “disgrace,” that Trump had “zero regret” for years of “pushing a racist conspiracy theory,” and that when he tried to “deflect blame” for denying that Obama was born in the United States, Trump “is lying.” She said “leading the birther movement is deplorable,” and saying that Trump “did a great service” to Obama “is asinine.”

First Lady Michelle Obama had a few things to say, too. “There were those who continued to question for the past eight years up through this very day whether my husband was even born in this country. Well, during his time in office, I think Barack has answered those questions with the example he set by going high when they go low,” she said. “Being president isn’t anything like reality TV. It’s not about sending insulting tweets or making fiery speeches, it’s about whether or not the candidate can handle the awesome responsibility of leading this country. If a candidate is erratic and threatening, if a candidate traffics in projections, fears, and lies on the trail, if a candidate has no clear plans to implement their goals, if they disrespect their fellow citizens including folks who made extraordinary sacrifices for our country, let me tell you, that is who they are.”

Just moments after Trump wrapped up his speech CNN’s chief national correspondent, John King, said “We got played, again, by the Trump campaign, which is what they do He got a live event broadcast for some 20 minutes.” CNN analyst Marc Lamont Hill said the event was “disgusting and pejorative” and his colleague Jake Tapper said the public was “rickrolled” by Trump.1

“The idea being that we were told this was going to be Donald Trump addressing something that his top campaign advisers, many people in the Republican National Committee want him to address and clear up and then stop talking about, which is this lie that President Obama was not born in the United States,” Tapper said. “We were told he was going to do that, and instead they bring out a number of Medal of Honor recipients and heroes instead. It was very clever on one level, and on another level, it does speak to the integrity of the Trump campaign. They told us something was going to happen, and it is not happening.”

“The media is outraged,” Swans said. “I’m outraged. Every Democrat I know is outraged, and many of my good friends in the Republican Party are disgusted with this man, as well they should be.”

Swans said that the best and only way to combat birtherism nonsense is for Democrats to conduct intensive voter registration drives, to attend rallies and local campaign events, to donate money to their candidates’ campaigns, to take part in the Election Day process itself by becoming poll watchers, or by organizing Get-Out-the-Vote drives on Election Day.

“Let’s not get angry or dismayed, let’s get even and get busy by casting our votes on Election Day. As Hillary Clinton said yesterday afternoon, this is the most consequential election of our lifetime.”

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1 Being “rickrolled” is a reference to being tricked on the Internet into watching something, and comes from a prank in which people were tricked into watching the music video of Rick Astley’s 1987 song “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
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