Cuomo was asking Sanders about Trump’s long embrace of the racist conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
“Look, this is pathetic,” Sanders said. “And this goes to the root of what Trump’s campaign is about. Let’s be clear: It’s about bigotry.”
There’s plenty of evidence to back up Sanders’ claim.
Trump was, as Sanders noted Friday, one of the leaders of the so-called “birther” movement. But Trump also claimed Mexican immigrants were rapists, attacked former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for having a Mexican-born wife, told award-winning Latino journalist Jorge Ramos to “go back to Univision,” was twice sued by the Justice Department for not renting to people he refers to as “the blacks,” claimed an (American) federal judge couldn’t treat him fairly because “he’s Mexican,” repeatedly refused to condemn white supremacists who support his campaign, told a room full of Jewish people he is a “negotiator like you folks,” and called for banning all of the world’s Muslims from entering the U.S.
Earlier this summer, YouGov asked Trump supporters a series of questions designed to gauge racial resentment. More than 90 percent of Trump supporters scored above the national average for racial resentment; and 58 percent of Trump supporters scored in the most-racist quartile of all respondents, according to The Economist.
Another study found that “Trump voters — more than people who preferred other GOP candidates or Americans at large — were less favorably inclined toward blacks, Latinos and Muslims, but also toward transgender Americans, gays and lesbians, and feminists,” FiveThirtyEight’s Farai Chideya wrote Wednesday. Here’s a chart taken from the study:
“You remember, let’s all remember, that a few years ago, Donald Trump was the leader of the so-called ‘birther’ movement,” Sanders continued on CNN. “And what the birther movement was about was not being critical of Obama. This is democracy, we can criticize Obama. It was delegitimizing the first African-American president.”
“It is not acceptable for a candidate for president of the United States to be arguing whether or not our president was born in this country.”
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.