White supremacist David Duke released a video on Friday announcing his candidacy as a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat from Louisiana.
Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, said in the video that he supports “equal rights for all, and respect for all Americans.” But he makes it clear that “what makes me different is I also demand respect for the rights and the heritage of European Americans.”
The Times-Picayune reported that several candidates have entered the race for the open seat vacated by the retiring Republican Sen. David Vitter, whose political career was tarnished by a prostitution scandal.
Duke, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 1990, said in the video that his platform includes ending “massive immigration” and making free trade fair. He’s also “overjoyed” that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and “most Americans” are onboard with the issues that he advocated for many years.
Indeed, Duke has been enamored with Trump’s candidacy. Buzzfeed reported that the former Klansman urged his radio listeners to vote for Trump and to volunteer for the real estate mogul’s campaign.
On Sunday, Trump “rebuked” Duke on NBC’s Meet the Press. Host Chuck Todd asked Trump if he would support a Democrat over Duke.
“I guess, depending on who the Democrat (is) — but the answer would be yes,” Trump stated.
The Republican presidential candidate was quick to distance himself from Duke this time. Earlier this year, it took Trump a while to reject the White supremacist’s support.
Meanwhile, news that Duke entered the Senate race brought quick condemnation from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The organization posted this statement:
“Louisiana voters will be able to choose from several Republican Senate candidates who will have a great impact on the Bayou State and the future of our country. David Duke is not one of them. He will not have the support of the NRSC under any circumstance.”
NRSC’s sole mission is to boost the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.