CNN host Victor Blackwell cornered a conservative Republican lawmaker over excuses for Trump neither building a border wall nor having Mexico pay for it.
“I don’t think anyone during the campaign seriously thought that Mexico was going to pay for that wall,” Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL) opined on Thursday. “We all believe that the wall is a metaphor for border security.”
Blackwell asked Congressman Rooney about Trump’s campaign promises.
“Do you believe that the crowds at President Trump’s rallies believed … they were supporting a metaphor instead of a traditional, brick and mortar cement wall?” Blackwell asked.
Blackwell then played multiple clips of Donald Trump promising to build an actual wall.
“It’s going to be a real wall, it’s going to be a high wall, it’s going to be beautiful, it’s going to be be a wall that works,” Trump says in one clip.
Trump indeed promised a brick and mortar wall.
“It’s going to be made of hardened concrete and it’s going to be made out of rebar…and we’re going set them in nice heavy foundations,” Trump specifically promised voters.
Multiple clips also showed candidate Trump promising that Mexico would pay for his border wall.
“Let’s follow this up with your own promise to voters when you ran for the seat you currently hold,” Blackwell suggested.
“You’re in the construction business, you appeared in your own ad with a safety vest and a construction helmet…here’s what you said,” Blackwell said, introducing a campaign ad promising a wall that Congressman Rooney ran during his 2016 campaign.
Congressman Rooney is majority owner of the Manhattan Construction Company, which he inherited from his great grandfather. The construction behemoth built the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, the Cato Institute headquarters and the George Bush Presidential Library.
The CNN host then shifted the conversation back to who will pay for the wall.
“No, I don’t think Mexico will pay for the wall,” Rooney said. “I think he was maybe speaking in a campaign hyperbole or whatever, but I don’t think Mexico will pay for the wall.”
“It could be just campaign words, you know,” Congressman Rooney suggested.
“Campaign words are the basis on which voters selected Donald Trump,” Blackwell reminded. “So are we to dismiss the promise that Mexico pay for the wall?”