U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, a Democrat who represents Tennessee’s Ninth Congressional District, now says it’s proper and just to criticize the president of the United States — but four years ago he said it was racist.
As The Tennessee Star has reported, Cohen has a well-documented history of making inflammatory and below-the-belt remarks about U.S. Republican President Donald Trump.
In his most recent emailed newsletter to constituents, Cohen justified his relentless attacks on Trump by dredging up an old quote from former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt from the year 1918:
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public,” Roosevelt said more than 100 years ago.
“Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.”
Four years ago, however, Cohen said on MSNBC that Republicans oppose Obamacare only because former U.S. Democratic President Barack Obama is black.
“A lot of the reason they’re against it is because it’s President Obama, who’s African-American, and because it helps a lot of people that are poor and lower income,” Cohen told the network.
“And so, in a lot of places that happens to be African-American people.”
Later that year, Cohen reportedly said something similar on his Twitter page, this time about former New York Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani. At the time, Giuliani criticized Obama and said the former president does not love America.
Cohen said Giuliani criticizing Obama was racist.
This, according to TheHill.com’s accounting of what happened that year.
“Rudy Giuliani questioned how much, or even if, President Obama loves America,” Cohen reportedly posted to Twitter. “Maybe he thinks he loves it 3/5 as much as Giuliani & his pals.”
As TheHill.com explained, the tweet referenced the Three-Fifths compromise, when slaves counted for three-fifths of a person.
At the time, Giuliani denied his criticism of Obama had anything to do with race.
As The Star reported last month, Cohen called Trump “the worst person in the world.” Earlier this year, Cohen called Trump a “paranoid, delusional individual” and said one of Trump’s rallies was on par with Nazism.
At the time of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire in France earlier this year, Cohen used the occasion to say Trump is “torching the entire structure of government.”
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