Fox Business host Charles Payne said Friday there is "irony" in the way 2020 Democratic presidential candidates talk about systemic racism in America, as many of them also call President Trump a racist.
Reacting on "Fox & Friends," Payne said many of them "brag" about their families coming from humble beginnings or immigrating to America and claim the same opportunities no longer exist for minorities.
"They are themselves living examples of why their rhetoric is so is wrong. They have achieved the kind of success that they are telling the audience is unachievable because of the man in the White House," said Payne, arguing that day-to-day issues of race, especially in inner cities, go far beyond Trump's tweets and statements.
At Thursday's debate, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said no one should get a "red badge of courage" for calling the president a racist. "Racism exists, the question isn't who isn't a racist, it's who is and isn't doing something about racism," Booker said.
"We have a white supremacist in the White House," said former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, calling Trump a "mortal threat to people of color."
And Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said nothing has gotten done in Washington, D.C. in the last two-and-a-half years because Trump has been "full-time trying to sow hate and division among us."
Payne, however, insisted racism is a deeper issue. He pointed out that in New York City last year, under Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, 89 percent of people arrested for marijuana crimes were black and Hispanic.
"In my own neighborhood, the progressives that have moved in call the cops on black kids playing basketball in the street," Payne said. "That's what I'm worried about! That's the day-to-day racism that I care about. The rhetoric they're talking is just designed to keep people afraid and it's not helpful for this country," he said.
He continued: "The way they portray this country every time they speak is like it's a hopeless place, where there's no opportunity for black people and Hispanics ... They themselves on that stage put that to rest. There is hope. In fact, your parents can come here from one of these countries and you could be running for president."