Sean Hannity, Rick Perry (Fox News)

Sean Hannity is desperately trying to legitimize Donald Trump's Mexican rapists remarks

But even Rick Perry is pushing back against what he characterizes as "disrespectful language"


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Scott Eric Kaufman
July 8, 2015 5:14PM (UTC)

On "Hannity" Tuesday evening, host Sean Hannity repeatedly tried to get GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry to confess that he secretly agrees with Donald Trump's argument that most Mexicans are drug-smuggling rapists.

"Having been down to the border with you," Hannity said, "I was a little surprised that you were so critical of Mr. Trump. Where is your criticism?"

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"I think you have to be critical of his disrespectful language," the former Texas governor replied. "To paint with a broad brush as Mr. Trump did, and basically say that all Mexicans were rapists and killers -- that's the type of inflammatory language that doesn't do anything at all."

He discussed the measures he instituted as governor to reduce the flow of immigrants over the Texas border, but Hannity clearly had an agenda and a policy discussion wasn't on it.

"I'm going to go to that in a second, but I want to be fair to Mr. Trump in this respect," he said. "He was perhaps inarticulate, but he did say 'some people are good people.' He didn't say 'all Mexicans,' as you categorized it. He said 'some people are good people, but these crimes are being committed by illegal immigrants."

Of course, Trump's statements were not "perhaps inarticualte," they were profoundly so, and he didn't say that "some people are good people," he said that he "assumes" some Mexicans aren't drug-smuggling rapists, which language and logic alike dictate means that he believes the majority of them are.

When Hannity insisted that "in a sense, [Trump] is factually right," Perry shot back by declaring that "I understand exactly what's going on," and that debate should focus on the reality on the ground in border states and not "rhetoric that is hyperbolic." Trump, he added, "knew exactly what he was doing with those statements."

"I'll let you battle that out," a visibly deflated Hannity replied. "We've got a debate in less than a month and I'm sure that issue will come up."

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Watch the entire interview below via Fox News.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Immigration Rick Perry Sean Hannity Video

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