Sen. Kevin Cramer joined the chorus of Republicans defending Trump's racist attacks on Baltimore.
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who is white, argued that someone snickering about his home state could make him "a victim of racism."
"I could be a victim of racism, but I don't offend that easily," Cramer told NBC reporter Frank Thorp.
Asked to explain his claim, Cramer laid out an absurd comparison. "Well, if somebody said something about being from North Dakota, every now and then I get a snicker about it, somebody will say something about North Dakota in some snide way, I don’t offend because I'm comfortable with where I come from," he replied.
Cramer's statement effectively equated racist behavior from the presidency with someone snickering about a state.
The senator also spoke about his black "friend" while excusing Trump's racism.
Cramer went on to invoke Rep. David Scott (D-GA), who he called "one of my very best friends in the House." Scott is black.
"I just love him, but he never plays victims either," Cramer said.
Scott was one of the 240 members of Congress, overwhelmingly Democratic, who voted to condemn Trump's racist comments in mid-July.
Cramer, who previously served in the House, has before used his position to make excuses for other indefensible acts. He said criticism of Trump's family separation was "a lot of over-dramatization," and while campaigning for his Senate seat, implied that sexual assault survivors are weak.
The argument from Cramer echoed his fellow Republican, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), who earlier excused Trump's racist attack on four Democratic congresswomen by declaring himself a "person of color."
Republicans have chosen to adopt Trump's racist attacks as part of their overall campaign message for 2020, hoping that appealing to racist voters will get them to the polls to support the GOP.
Jokes about a state aren't the same as systemic racism, but to defend Trump, Republican leaders aren't tethering themselves to any rules or logic.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.