"It's not every day you get to tell off a neo-Nazi," Jason Kander said on CNN's "New Day" on Monday morning, alluding to the tweet he had sent over the weekend to Richard Spencer, a known white supremacist.
Kander, the former secretary of state of Missouri and a candidate for U.S. Senate in the 2016 election, was responding to one of Spencer's tweets, which linked to a song "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" from the Broadway show "Cabaret" as if it were some sort of Nazi anthem.
— Richard Spencer (@RichardBSpencer) March 18, 2017
Kander quickly pointed out to Spencer the irony of his embrace of that song:
Hey buddy, that song you love was written by my uncle. He's been married to my other uncle for 40 years. And he's a Jew.
Sing it proud. https://t.co/yrL4242sl5
— Jason Kander (@JasonKander) March 18, 2017
Now a CNN contributor after his failed bid for Congress, Kander said on "New Day" that he was not surprised his tweet went viral.
"The reason that it went viral is because people are upset about what they are seeing," he said. "When you look culturally at this, what is going on right now, and the feeling that some of these folks, like [Spencer], have sort of been given the license to be more mainstream, it bothers people."
Kander didn't blame the new administration for the mainstreaming of white supremacy but did say he expects more from the president.
"Personally, I would like see the president speak out more. I'm not in anyway saying that the president necessarily sympathizes with it," Kander said, "But I do think that the president of the United States, whether you voted for him or not, no matter who it is at any given time, is, in addition to being the leader of the government and the commander in chief, is the cultural and moral leader of the country, by position."
Added Kander: "Americans need to hear that president is bothered by it and that he feels the need to speak up without anybody really pressures him to do so," he concluded.
Watch the video below, courtesy of CNN:
"Cabaret" song leads to heated Twitter exchange https://t.co/rkoiiIZaaU
— New Day (@NewDay) March 20, 2017