Tongue-tied GOP strategist crashes and burns on-air while trying to deny Trump’s racism
Republican Amy Tarkanian on MSNBC (screengrab)

Republican strategist Amy Tarkanian crashed and burned on CNN on Saturday while attempting to deny President Donald Trump's racism.

"I do not believe that the president’s tweets were racist. I do believe they were not well thought out. He needs that extra, 'Are you sure?' button on Twitter," Tarkanian argued.

"I'm a black man, I'm a Republican and a black man," the Rev. Joe Watkins interjected. "My mother's an immigrant, I would be angry if someone said that to my mother."

"Oh, it’s very offensive. But he did not say, because you are this color, go back to where you came from," Tarkanian argued. "I’m not supporting that tweet. Was it racist? No. Was it stupid? Yes."

"The tweet was racist," Watkins declared.

If Tarkanian did not even view Trump's attacks as racist, anchor Kendis Gibson attempted to find out what it would take for her to consider a comment racist.

"Let me ask you this. What is a racist comment? What would you say?" Gibson asked.

"I’m not going to make a racist comment, are you crazy?" she replied.

"Define what is a racist comment," Gibson said.

"Okay, I am not going to go down that direction at all," she replied.

Watkins, a fellow Republican who served in the George H.W. Bush administration and was once the party's nominee to be lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, had a far different take.

"If someone says something that’s racist, it’s racist -- and you ought to call it out for what it is. Maybe they'll hear what you're saying and they’ll not do it anymore," Watkins suggested.

But Tarkanian refused to take the pastor's advice.

"I have met the president on numerous occasions, I have even been in a house of prayer with the president and worshipped along his side. He’s not a racist, he’s not xenophobic, he’s not a religious bigot of any sort," Tarkanian claimed.

In March, Tarkanian also struggled to defend Trump's racism during an appearance on MSNBC.