Former V.I. senator, radio host and 2012 Republican Party candidate for the V.I. seat in Congress Holland Redfield was featured in the national political magazine Politico on Friday, railing against intolerance among some of the GOP presidential candidates and against what he regarded as party pressure to “toe the line” and support GOP candidates no matter what they say.
Politico posted a video (See Related Links below) of Redfield speaking at a closed-door GOP meeting, addressing Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
“When I see the tenor of discussion amongst these candidates … and the disrespect in many cases for ethnic minorities in the United States and also religious factions, you have to draw the line because sooner or later somebody has to pick up the pieces,” Redfield said.
He pulls no punches, asserting that the kind of talk “these candidates” are engaging in is not be acceptable.
“You’ve got a situation here that when someone is listening to this, either a conservative or a Democrat, or a Republican, or an independent, there are things that are said on that stage and in the media, that if your child was doing that, you’d put that child over your knee and spank them. You know it, and I know it,” Redfield said.
But he says the party is pressuring members to go along anyway.
“You can argue with me, but we’re almost terrorized as members of our party. ‘Shut up. Toe the line, embrace each other, and let’s go forward.’ I understand that. But there is a limit to loyalty. I am loyal to this party by speaking out on these very issues,” he said.
For some reason, Politico repeatedly asserts that Redfield is speaking about GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, although Redfield does not name Trump, and says “these candidates,” in the plural. And other GOP presidential candidates have made similar, if less extreme, statements regarding Muslims.
For instance, Jeb Bush has endorsed a religious test for refugees, with preferential treatment of Christians, telling CNN in November that, “We should focus our efforts as it relates to the refugees for the Christians that are being slaughtered,” and later expanding, “You can tell when someone is a Christian in the Middle East. I can promise you that. … There are ample means by which to know this.”
And Marco Rubio told George Stephanopoulis in an ABC interview in November, “This is a clash of civilizations. … there is no middle ground on this. Either they win or we win, and we need to begin to take this seriously. These are individuals motivated by their faith.”
Most of the candidates have been less controversial on matters of race and ethnicity than Trump, although Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey have both repeatedly asserted that the anti-violence group Black Lives Matter “call for” and “celebrate” murdering police officers, despite the fact that its organizers and members have repeatedly said otherwise.
At another point in the video, Redfield does appear to refer to speculation that Trump might run as an independent if he does not win the nomination.
“As a party, we owe it to ourselves to speak up, and not let the tail wag the dog, and not let someone say, all of a sudden, ‘If you don’t play my game, then I’m running as an independent,'” Redfield said.
However, in December Trump committed to supporting the eventual GOP nominee and ruled out an independent bid, in a CNN interview. (See Related Links below)
Emails and texts to Redfield sent late Friday evening seeking comment were not returned immediately.