Former Vice President Al Gore on Saturday offered sharp criticism of Donald Trump's statement on the violence in Charlottsville, Virginia, calling on the president to "come back before the people" and "try again."
"Our country is facing a dangerous time with the rise of some of these hate groups," Gore said in response to a question from Mustafa Ali during his remarks at the annual Netroots Nation gathering of progressives. "When [the president] came out, he did not say anything about the fact that neo-Nazis and the KKK and the alt-right were out there trying to provoke hatefulness and divide people."
"And I was surprised," Gore continued, "that the statement appeared to give a kind of moral equivalence to the people who had organized this KKK, Nazi march and the people who said 'we're going to stand against fascism and nazism and racism' and we don't want that in our community."
Referring to the events as "a terrorist act," Gore addressed his remarks directly to Trump in the "off chance" they reached him. "Mr. president, for the sake of our country I would urge you to try again."
"I would urge you to give more thought to what it means to have a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazi movement marching and creating this kind of hatefulness," he added.
Gore argued Trump's calls "to have affection for one another and love one another and have a good time" were "not enough" because the white nationalists in Charlottsville "are not interested in loving all people, they're interested in provoking hatred and using prejudice as a way to divide the country."
"The country would be better served if the president would come back before the people and make a more thoughtful and appropriate statement," Gore concluded.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.