Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia says supporters of former surgeon and potential Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson are ignorant people who "have been whipped into a frenzy, like a lynch mob."
The congressman, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was speaking on The Michael Smerconish Show on Friday when he made the comments.
"Yeah, I think Barack Obama has been one of the greatest presidents that we have had in the history of this nation," said Johnson. "It's unfortunate that — since he raised his hand and took the oath in his first inauguration — that he's been met with nothing but opposition, and confrontation, and actual, personal dehumanization."
"And so what we're seeing with — so I support the president, I believe he's done as much as is humanly possible to advance the cause of justice and prosperity and freedom for all people, not just blacks, and not just here in America, but across the world. I think he has changed the paradigm of American foreign policy."
Johnson singled out Dr. Ben Carson as an example of what he called "African Americans trying to tap into that vein of ignorance," against the president.
"But it's unfortunate that everything he does tends to pick up opposition from his political enemies, and it has become more than just political — it's personal enemies."
"And so, to the extent that we have African Americans trying to tap into that vein of ignorance, African Americans like Dr. Ben Carson, who is a very smart, well-educated man and knows exactly what he's doing, when we have blacks like that trying to tap into the ignorance of people who have been whipped into a frenzy, like a lynch mob, and you go to try to garner support from those folks, I think it's very disappointing that we would have that kind of political discourse going on in this country.
Johnson said Carson was "appealing to the lowest common denominator," adding "there could be nothing more disappointing than that kind of thinking."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
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