President Trump’s Agriculture Secretary, Sonny Perdue, described the importance of the Florida gubernatorial race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum, who could become Florida’s first black governor, by using the word “cotton-pickin’” at a DeSantis rally in Florida on Saturday.
“Public policy matters. Leadership matters,” Perdue said, Politico reported.
“And that is why this election is so cotton-pickin’ important to the state of Florida. I hope you all don’t mess it up,” Perdue continued.
When pressed about Perdue’s remarks by Politico, a DeSantis campaign spokesman told the publication “to ask Governor Perdue about any of his remarks.”
Keeping it racist while campaigning for DeSantis:
“And that is why this election is so cotton-pickin' important to the state of Florida. I hope you all don’t mess it up.” – Trump Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue pic.twitter.com/vej7CWR93g
— laney (@misslaneym) November 3, 2018
Perdue’s controversial remarks come several weeks after DeSantis said on Fox News that voters should not “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum.
Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo slammed DeSantis after the interview in a statement: “It’s disgusting that Ron DeSantis is launching his general election campaign with racist dog whistles.”
DeSantis later defended the comment, telling Fox News host Sean Hannity it had “zero to do with race.”
“It has everything to do with whether we want Florida to continue to go in a good direction building off the success, or do we want to turn to left-wing socialist policies which will absolutely devastate our state,” he said.
Fox News contributor David Bossie was suspended from the network earlier this year after using the same “cotton-pickinG” term while speaking to a black guest during a segment.
During an appearance on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Bossie told the guest that he was out of his “cotton-picking mind.”
In a bombshell interview with Vanity Fair published on Friday, President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen recounted several racist remarks made by Trump before he was elected.
In the interview, Cohen recounted a discussion at Trump Tower when he told then-candidate Trump that the crowd at his campaign rally was predominately white.
“I told Trump that the rally looked vanilla on television. Trump responded, ‘That’s because black people are too stupid to vote for me,’” Cohen told Vanity Fair.
Cohen recalled another occasion when he once was traveling to Chicago with Trump in the late 2000s, “we drove through what looked like a rougher neighborhood.”
“Trump made a comment to me, saying that only the blacks could live like this,” Cohen recalled in the article, entitled “Michael Cohen says Trump Repeatedly Used Racist Language Before His Presidency.”
Cohen also revealed that when he and Trump once talked about the first season of Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice,” Trump was “explaining his back-and-forth about not picking” Kwame Jackson, a black investment manager as the winner.
“There’s no way I can let this black f-g win,” Trump reportedly said.
Cohen also said that after Nelson Mandela’s death in 2013, Trump called on Cohen to “name one country run by a black person that’s not a shithole.”
He then added, “Name one city.”
Cohen said the comment was remarkably similar to how Trump reportedly referred to Haiti and other African countries as “shithole countries” earlier this year during a meeting with members of Congress.