Introducing Donald Trump in Atkinson, New Hampshire on Friday afternoon, former Gov. John Sununu (R-NH) offered one of the ugliest speeches we’ve seen this campaign cycle — not only because of what he said, but also because of how rally-goers reacted.
Sununu, who made a number of racist attacks against Barack Obama in his role as Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign co-chair, started with a lewd joke about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s sex life.
“Do you think Bill was referring Hillary when he said, ‘I did not have sex with that woman?’” Sununu cracked.
The crowd became raucous after Sununu attacked Clinton surrogate Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Audience members shouted “Pocahontas!” — the racist smear Trump coined for Warren — and mocked Native Americans with “woo-woo-woo-woo-woo” whoops.
But the ugliest moment came when Sununu turned his attention to Hillary Clinton directly. During a break in between Sununu’s attacks, the familiar Trump rally chant of “lock her up!” was intermingled with some saying “execute her!”
Sununu hasn’t always been so critical of Clinton. In 2012, he praised the job Clinton did as Secretary of State while discussing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
“At some point the president is going to have to explain why he was timid on the first two or three opportunities that we had,” Sununu told the New York Times. “Thank goodness Hillary Clinton was there was to convince him to do the right thing.”
In September, Clinton said “you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables” — a group she defined as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.” Her comments have become a rallying cry for Trump supporters, but polling data indicates there’s something to what she said.
Polling conducted earlier this year found that 65 percent of Trump supporters believe Obama is a Muslim; 59 percent believe Obama wasn’t born in the United States; 40 percent believe blacks are more “lazy” than whites; 31 percent support banning homosexuals from the country; 16 percent believe whites are a superior race; and 20 percent disagree with Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed Southern slaves.