Political News

RNC formally condemns white supremacists with resolution

Posted August 26, 2017 7:40 p.m. EDT

The Republican National Committee passed a resolution Friday "condemning the violence and racist beliefs" of white supremacists who took to the streets in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month -- a move that contrasts sharply with President Donald Trump's widely panned response to the deadly violence.

The resolution called out the "abhorrent white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017, that led to loss of life and numerous injuries."

It also recalls the roots of the Republican Party, saying it "was founded in the struggle against slavery and a rejection of the racial beliefs underlying the institution of slavery."

The resolution continues: "The struggle to affirm the equal moral status of each individual regardless of skin color, while maintaining and nourishing our union as a single people, continues to animate the Republican Party today, especially in these times of racial tension when the country needs to come together rather than divide."

One woman, Heather Heyer, died and several others were injured when a car plowed through a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville after white supremacists held a rally to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Trump's initial response placed blame for the violence on "many sides." But after receiving criticism for the remarks, Trump specifically condemned the white supremacist groups a couple of days later. Then, the day after that, Trump again addressed the violence while speaking to reporters, saying "both sides" were to blame the clashes -- comments that appeared to equate the white supremacists with those protesting them and drew widespread criticism from both sides of the political aisle.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel spoke out against the hate groups on ABC's "Good Morning America" and supported Trump's condemnation of them.

"The President condemned the white supremacists and KKK and neo-Nazis unequivocally," she said. "(Trump) did it, and he should have, and he did. We have no place in our party at all for the KKK, anti-Semitism, racism, bigotry -- it has no place in the Republican Party. There is no home here. We don't want your vote."

The vote on the resolution took place during the RNC's summer meeting in Nashville, where McDaniel again addressed the issue of hate groups on Friday.

"Last week, I joined the President in speaking out strongly against any group that uses hate or violence," McDaniel said, according to her prepared remarks.

McDaniel's message also evoked the Republican Party's origins: "We can't forget our history, where we came from, and our role in shaping a better future. We hope Democrats will join us in condemning all groups that commit violence and hate. Condemning violence and hate is not Republican or Democrat issue, this is an American issue."