During a speech on the first night of the Republican National Convention, soap opera actor/underwear model Antonio Sabato Jr. laid out his case for the Republican nominee.
"I believe we need Donald Trump, who shares my beliefs and my faith, to get our country back on track," said Sabato, who is best known for his role on the show General Hospital. "Trump believes in one America, with liberty and justice for all."
Praising Trump’s "beliefs" and "faith" may have sounded like boilerplate, but the line actually proved pretty revealing almost as soon as Sabato got off the stage. A few minutes after speaking, Sabato told ABC News reporters that he "absolutely" believes President Obama is a Muslim:
It’s an embarrassing look for a Republican Party that has faced accusations of stoking conspiracy theories about the first black president — something Trump himself has engaged with in the past.
But it wasn’t all that out of character for the night’s proceedings. Earlier on Monday, RNC speaker Scott Baio was criticized for circulating an image calling Hillary Clinton the c-word. (Baio, also an actor, refused to apologize for doing so.)
Now, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is what happens when Donald Trump takes over a political party. But falsely believing Obama is a Muslim is not a phenomenon on the right limited to Trump’s nomination in particular.
Polling has found that more than 40 percent of Republican voters share Sabato’s belief, according to the Washington Post. Is it really so surprising that one of the speakers at their convention would, too?