Friday, 22 July 2016 19:37

Author Tyler Bridges talks David Duke past, US Senate run, Trump comparisons, GOP distancing

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duke beardDavid Duke, the former KKK leader and virulent anti-semite is now a US Senate candidate in Louisiana.

One of the individuals who knows David Duke’s political career is Tyler Bridges, now author of two books about two of Duke’s run for office in the 1980’s and 90’s.

This afternoon, Bridges and I discussed Duke’s political past and his current decision to run for office.



The first question Bridges answered was actually a question he asked himself—why is David Duke relevant.

After all, he has not run for office in roughly seventeen years, 1999 and then, against David Vitter and David Treen.  He has spent time in jail for tax evasion.  His anti-semitism has been exposed whereas he tried to hide it when he ran in the 1990s.

Here is how Bridges asked and answered the question:

Why is this news?

Why is it news that David Duke would be getting in the race and I guess, perhaps, for some people it's a bit of a freak show.

With his Klan past, he's always been the guy who perhaps attracts in certain ways more attention than he deserves. But then there's some real reasons why I think he does deserve attention. Now it's been 15 or 16 years ago, but he did get over half the white vote in the State of Louisiana when he ran for the Senate against Bennett Johnston in 1990 and then against Edwin Edwards in 1991.

In both of those races he knocked out all the other Republicans. So, he's run since then but he hasn't done so well.

But I think Trump, Donald Trump has made an newsworthy this year because, earlier this year, I think it was in February, Duke made some favorable comments about Trump and Trump was given an opportunity to disavow Duke and he did not do so. That put Duke back in the news again.

Of course there was the incident a little, over a year and a half ago where Steve Scalise, where it was discovered had made some comments or had appeared at an organization that Duke founded many years ago but it just became known recently.  So that put Duke in the news as well. So I'm guessing that he's just about the best known Louisiana political figure in the country. So when someone like that gets in the race, and given his past, I think indeed it is newsworthy.

In addition to these comments, other issues discussed were the recent Louisiana Republican Party and the National Republican Senatorial Committee denouncing Duke and his run for office, Duke’s decision not to run against Steve Scalise for US Congress, the political positioning of the candidates for Senate, the relationships of Duke and Donald Trump supporters, and more.




Last modified on Friday, 22 July 2016 19:48
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