WASHINGTON — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said he was hesitant to join other 2020 Democratic contenders in calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist because he did not feel like it was his job to label him one.
“I don’t think it’s my job to label him. I think what he is doing, though, is using race, gender, [and] geography, really, to divide the country, and we’re so much better of a country than that,” Bullock told BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM.
Bullock said the words a leader uses matter, and the words Trump is using are ripping the country apart.
On the topic of reparations, Bullock said that he is excited they are part of the political conversation but that “cash payments,” as he put it, won’t fix the past or help in the future. He said he believed there are better ways to address systemic inequities.
“Let’s actually look at criminal justice reform, let’s look at income inequality, let’s look at health care outcome and opportunities and address each of those, knowing it’s not about raising everybody’s boats,” Bullock said.
He pointed to the fact that the average African American’s income is 58 percent of the average white American's, and African Americans are four times more likely to be incarcerated or die in childbirth, as examples of inequalities he would want to address.
“What I hope is when we’re focused on how can we make sure that the next generation isn’t having the same very discussion, that’s where I think that we’ll make progress,” Bullock said.
While Bullock is not related to actress Sandra Bullock, he was asked on the show what his favorite movie of hers was. He described Speed but was unable to recall the name of it: “What was the one where she was driving the bus?” He said he didn’t pick Miss Congeniality because it is everyone’s favorite — “I’ve got to be a little countercultural.”