Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” former Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) defended Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) after a racist photo of him surfaced from his medical school yearbook, although the governor has since claimed after apologizing that it is not him in the photo.
Moran said he does not think people like former President Bill Clinton or former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) should have to resign after their issues came to light.
“I believe in second chances,” Moran told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “I believe that people should have the ability to redeem themselves.”
The former congressman then compared Northam to former Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson, who, despite their racial pasts, were “able to accomplish things that mattered.”
“You know, Abraham Lincoln and Lynden Johnson probably did the most in terms of addressing America’s original sin of slavery. Abraham Lincoln said he thought African-Americans were inferior, if you can believe it, but it’s true. Lyndon Johnson used the “n” word regularly, including in front of African-Americans and they were able to accomplish things that matter, even sustainable. I think the path to progress is long and winding and can get very twisty,” Moran said.
“I am a Democrat largely because I believe in racial justice,” he continued. “I want us to be pragmatic about this. And I think that, you know, if we want to advance that cause, then I would love to see another African-American governor of Virginia. But, frankly, if a conservative Republican legislature, which we have in Virginia, knows that the governor can be re-elected, which Ralph can’t, but the lieutenant governor could, they’re going to do everything they can to undermine his effectiveness. We have to look at the long term. And this business of public shaming, where we accomplish very little except to serve our righteous indignation and then go back into our respective corners, our ideological comfort zones, all it does is exacerbate the tribalism tearing our society apart.”
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