White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters today:
Mr. Trump says that there’s more he needs to learn about Mr. Duke before he can render an opinion, but I think we’ve, we now know all we need to know about Mr. Trump to render our own personal opinion about his candidacy.
Look, it’ll be up to Mr. Trump to decide how he wants to run his campaign, what he wants to say in terms of the kind of support that he’s recruiting to his campaign. It’ll be up to Republican voters across the country to decide whether or not they’re comfortable with those tactics.
In fairness, Trump’s GOP rivals and a number of major party figures have condemned his blasé attitude toward the KKK. But it will be awkward for the Republican party if their voters sweep him into position as the presumptive nominee tomorrow, just a few days after what Mitt Romney called “coddling of repugnant bigotry” and a “disgusting and disqualifying response.” Marco Rubio said “there’s no place for that in America”; Ted Cruz said it was “really sad.”
Bernie Sanders tweeted:
America's first black president cannot and will not be succeeded by a hatemonger who refuses to condemn the KKK.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 28, 2016
Sanders’ Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, was one of more than 35,000 to retweet it.
Clinton also said, responding to a reporter’s question in Nashville about Trump’s remarks: “It’s pathetic.”