By Sam Dorman
Published August 09, 2019
The questions came as Delaney was surrounded by cameras and apparent members of the press after his speech at the Iowa State Fair on Friday. "Why do you stop short of calling him a white supremacist," Delaney was asked.
The apparent reporter went on to ask what the difference was for Delaney between saying Trump supported white supremacists and using that label to describe him.
"I think it's a distinction without a difference," Delaney said, "because enabling white supremacists, as I said earlier, what other conclusion can you come to than he supports it for some reason."
Someone in the crowd ordered Delaney to "say the reason." "I don't know what the reason is," Delaney added before someone shouted that Trump was a white supremacist.
"Well, that's what I'm basically saying," Delaney responded. Someone shouted back, "so say it!" Delaney was also told to "stop with the semantics," before facing more scattered shouts from people questioning why he would not call Trump a white supremacist.
After Delaney continued asking what else someone could conclude from Trump's actions, the grilling ramped up even further.
Delaney's comments came as several 2020 contenders blasted Trump as a racist and white supremacist, blaming him in part for the political climate that allegedly motivated the shooter in El Paso, Texas.
That included former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, who plainly told MSNBC that Trump was a "white supremacist."
"He is," O'Rourke responded when asked about that label. "He's also made that very clear. He's dehumanized or has sought to dehumanize those who don't look like or pray like the majority here in this country." Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said the same "without hesitation," according to The New York Times.
Trump, on Monday, explicitly condemned white supremacy and called on the nation as a whole to reject it as well. "Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside — so destructive — and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love. Our future is in our control," he said during a speech on Monday.