Ashley Bell, in defense of raw language at Donald Trump rallies

Ashley Bell of Gainesville, shortly after switching to the Republican party in 2010. AJC file/Bita Honarvar, bhonarvar@ajc.com

Ashley Bell of Gainesville, shortly after switching to the Republican party in 2010. AJC file/Bita Honarvar, bhonarvar@ajc.com

We told you yesterday of Ashley Bell’s new gig at the Republican National Committee, in charge of messaging  in 11 presidential battleground states aimed African-American voters. He told us that the job would be a tough one. And he was right.

This morning, Bell was subjected to his first test: A CNN interview with Chris Cuomo, who pointed to a New York Times video clip that focused on the raw language erupting from numerous crowds at Donald Trump rallies. The clip showed a young man at one rally shouting “F*** that n***” at the mention of President Barack Obama.

How do you persuade black voters that this can be their new political home? Cuomo asked. Here’s the YouTube clip posted by Raw Story:

Said Bell:

“In the beginning, in the Democratic primary, I was at plenty of rallies where I saw many frustrated young black voters, members of different movements, upset at the Clintons because of the failed criminal justice policy of the ‘90s. I heard a lot of them frustrated, saying a lot of awful things.

“But that’s not a reflection of Hillary Clinton’s campaign as much as it is the frustration of America. The frustrations on both sides, black and white, are frustrated with the system. You can’t just look at that group and say that’s a reflection of Donald Trump. The reason he’s our nominee is because people don’t want another insider.”

Bell told us afterwards that he was not in studio during the CNN interview and he couldn’t see the video or hear the bleeped-out racial slurs that Cuomo was referring to.

“I condemn the use of any racial slur,” he said.


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