- Screenshot via YouTube
Candidates vying for a Louisiana US Senate seat met on the debate stage in New Orleans on Wednesday night.
Among the candidates – which included Republican frontrunner John Kennedy and Democratic candidate Caroline Fayard – was former Ku Klux Klan leader, David Duke.
Duke is running as a Republican. He was added to the debate roster last month, after crossing the 5% polling threshold needed to attend.
The affair got off to a fiery start, when Fayard called Duke a bad guy who “slithered out of the swamp.” Duke, who is a self-avowed white-supremacist, took umbrage at the remark, saying “Yeah, I’m the bad guy because I defend the people of this country that made our country great,” loosely co-opting Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
Duke invoked Trump’s name early and often during the debate, and compared himself to the GOP nominee while complaining that he is unfairly criticized for his controversial views.
“I will be Donald Trump’s most loyal advocate,” Duke said.
Trump has repeatedly disavowed Duke’s support and, more recently, that of a KKK publication that endorsed him this week.
The debate quickly went off the rails when Duke got into an extended shouting match with the moderator.
Watch the exchange below, starting at the 22:43 mark:
In defending some unsavory remarks about Jews, Duke said “I’m not opposed to all Jews … there is a problem in America with a very strong, powerful, tribal group that dominates our media and dominates our international banking.”
He also accused such groups of controlling the reins of American foreign policy, citing the civil war in Syria while attempting to draw parallels between those groups and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“The lady should be getting the electric chair, being charged with treason,” Duke said.
The debate was held at Dillard University in New Orleans, a historically black liberal-arts school. Notably, the auditorium where the debate was held appeared to be mostly empty.