Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday said Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” is a racist dog whistle.
“I’m actually old enough to remember the good old days, and they weren’t all that good in many ways,” Clinton said at a rally in Orlando. “That message where ‘I’ll give you America great again’ is if you’re a white Southerner, you know exactly what it means, don’t you?”
“What it means is ‘I’ll give you an economy you had 50 years ago, and I’ll move you back up on the social totem pole and other people down,’” he said. “What Hillary wants to do is take the totem pole down, and let us all go forward together.”
Clinton, who is a white Southerner himself, made the comments after Hillary Clinton gave a speech last month accusing Trump of bringing racism and fringe conspiracy theories into the mainstream with his 2016 campaign.
Trump has a history of racism. In 1973, the Justice Department sued Trump’s property management company for alleged discrimination against black renters. The GOP nominee has said that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and built his campaign on the promise to keep all Muslims and undocumented immigrants out of the country.
But Trump has said it’s Hillary Clinton who’s a “bigot.” The Democratic nominee has come under fire for her husband’s decision to sign a 1994 crime bill as president, which critics say led to black Americans being overrepresented in the criminal justice system.
Bill Clinton has admitted the bill was a mistake.
“I signed a bill that made the problem worse,” he said last year.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.