Thomas Roberts Lectures Black Republican: GOP Trying To ‘Disenfranchise Voters'
It’s becoming clearer every day that the liberal hosts at MSNBC have no interest in giving conservatives a fair shake on their network. Time and time again, MSNBC hosts such as Thomas Roberts proudly slander Republicans of engaging in hateful acts such as a “war on women” or a “war on voting.”
With such hostility towards conservatives at the network, it makes you wonder sometimes why any conservative would want to come on and be verbally accosted by the liberal activists disguised as journalists, such as Thomas Roberts, who did his best to put Orlando Watson through the ringer.
The communications director for black media at the Republican National Committee graciously appeared on the December 4 MSNBC Live program, but it was quickly evident that Mr. Roberts was more interested in pushing liberal talking points than having a fair and balanced interview about the GOP's outreach efforts to minority voters.
The segment began with Roberts peddling the non-controversy in a typo sent out via the RNC Twitter page honoring the legacy of Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, which the MSNBC host used as a way to suggest the GOP was tone deaf. For his part, Orlando Watson pushed back against Roberts’ partisan comments:
Talking about a typo and a tweet, it's old news. I'd like to talk a little bit about some of the things that we're doing here at the Republican Party to engage black voters as well as other ethnic groups, so let's talk about that… A typo in a tweet is old news. We should move forward.
Rather than truly moving forward, Roberts kept harping on the non-issue and piled on to slander the GOP even more:
Since the report, we've seen efforts by the Republican Party to disenfranchise voters in this country, African-American voters in North Carolina and Ohio.
Unlike other conservatives who have come on MSNBC, however, Watson refused to lay down and accept Roberts’ hateful claim:
That's simply not true. What we've been doing here at the party, let me tell you about some of the things that we've been doing at the party. We've been engaging black voters. We've been going into the communities, showing up, meeting people in the places where they live, in the places where they work, in the places where they worship.
If MSNBC wants to have more true conservative guests on its network it might want to stop calling them racially tone deaf and openly claiming that Republicans want to disenfranchise minorities. Thankfully, Orlando Watson didn’t fall into Roberts’ trap and pushed back against the liberal host at every turn.
See relevant transcript below.
December 4, 2013
11:19 a.m. Eastern
THOMAS ROBERTS: Orlando Watson is the RNC's newly appointed Communications Director for Black Media and joins us now to talk about this, also about the outreach going forward. So Orlando, I have to say you got one of the hardest jobs in America right now, because you were brought on as part of the RNC's effort to reach out to African-American voters as a result of the autopsy results. So what's your first reaction to Michael Steele's comment about the tone deafness of the party as it currently stands?
ORLANDO WATSON: Hey, Thomas, let me first start off with saying that it's great to be here. And since this is my first time on your show, I'd like to sort of break some news by setting the record straight. Early Sunday morning the RNC sent out a statement, a statement right here that a lot of press offices received as well as MSNBC honoring the legacy of Rosa Parks. A few hours later a tweet went out that had a typo in it, a typo. We later clarified that typo and -- but continued to focus on the statement that honored Rosa Parks, yet no one wanted to cover this statement. A statement that didn't have that typo in it. You yourself noted that as well as others at NBC.
ROBERTS: We did cover it yesterday, Orlando. We did cover the statement yesterday that came out because we got it right before -- on Monday actually because we did a segment on this and you guys had sent us that statement. So we did get it on the air. Some people would say that the autopsy report, you know, that came out
WATSON: Thomas, I was just going to say it's called the Growth and Opportunity Report. And talking about a typo and a tweet, it's old news. I'd like to talk a little bit about some of the things that we're doing here at the Republican Party to engage black voters as well as other ethnic groups, so let's talk about that.
ROBERTS: Well, let's talk about that. Do you think, though, that because of the fact -- and I was reading some conservative websites about the reaction to how the RNC responded to this and some people were commenting, you know, don't apologize. There's nothing to feel guilty for. The RNC did nothing wrong. The mere fact that it keeps trying to amend what its statement was in the first place makes it look guilty. How would you respond to those statements?
WATSON: Thomas, this is our statement here. I'll read it to you if you would like but we're honoring the legacy of Rosa Parks. What those other people are obsessing over is a typo in a tweet. A typo in a tweet is old news. We should move forward.
ROBERTS: Let's move on because the autopsy report is actually what helped create the job that you now have at the RNC.
WATSON: The Growth and Opportunity Project.
ROBERTS: Yes. So if we want ethnic minority voters to support Republicans, this is the contents, we have to engage them and show our sincerity.
ROBERTS: That was part of the contents of the autopsy report. But since the report, we've seen efforts by the Republican Party to disenfranchise voters in this country, African-American voters in North Carolina and Ohio.
WATSON: That's simply not true. What we've been doing here at the party, let me tell you about some of the things that we've been doing at the party. We've been engaging black voters. We've been going into the communities, showing up, meeting people in the places where they live, in the places where they work, in the places where they worship. Just this past month, Chairman Reince Priebus was in Detroit meeting with black business and community leaders to talk about ways that we can move forward. Talk about positive solutions to some of the problems that ail us. I don't remember the last time Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee was in Detroit meeting with black business and community leaders, do you?