MSNBC’s O’Donnell: No White Men Qualified For Supreme Court?

During the 3:00PM EST hour on MSNBC on Wednesday, political analyst Pat Buchanan wondered why President Obama’s short list for the Supreme Court only included women, in response, anchor Norah O’Donnell declared: "Did it ever occur to you, Pat, that maybe there weren’t any white men who were qualified?" (video here)

Buchanan replied: "No, it did not occur to me...You mean there are no white males qualified? That is – that would be an act of bigotry to make a statement like that." O’Donnell defended her remark by claiming past discrimination against women in the nominating process: "In the past there have been no women that have been qualified." Buchanan argued: "They certainly have been qualified in the past. I don’t doubt there are. But probably half of the great lawyers and judges are white males in this country. And to rule them out, why? Because of their sex and because of their race is wrong, I think. At least it’s affirmative action."

O’Donnell rejected Buchanan’s claim: "I don’t think you have proof that they did that." Buchanan asked: "How did he come down to four women?" O’Donnell simply repeated White House talking points: "He said that they were the best and that met the views that he had, the particular criteria." Buchanan summed up that "criteria": "One of them, it’s got to be a woman, and the other it got down to be, ‘hey, it’s an Hispanic,’ that’s affirmative action."

Here is the transcript of the exchange:

3:01PM SEGMENT:

PAT BUCHANAN: You got down to four women, not a single white male – all women. And then we’re going to pick an Hispanic-

NORAH O’DONNELL: Did it ever occur to you, Pat, that maybe there weren’t any white men who were qualified?

BUCHANAN: Yes. No, it did not occur to me.

[O’Donnell Laughs Loudly]

BUCHANAN: You mean there are no white males qualified? That is – that would be an act of bigotry to make a statement like that.

NORAH O’DONNELL: In the past there have been no women that have been qualified.

BUCHANAN: They certainly have been qualified in the past. I don’t doubt there are. But probably half of the great lawyers and judges are white males in this country. And to rule them out, why? Because of their sex and because of their race is wrong, I think. At least it’s affirmative action.

NORAH O’DONNELL: I don’t think you have proof that they did that. The President reportedly-

BUCHANAN: How did he come down to four women?

NORAH O’DONNELL: He said that they were the best and that met the views that he had, the particular criteria.

BUCHANAN: In other words what were the criteria? One of them, it’s got to be a woman, and the other it got down to be, ‘hey, it’s an Hispanic,’ that’s affirmative action.

NORAH O’DONNELL: Lawrence, do you want to offer a rejoinder to that?

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Well Pat, if it gets down to four, you’re suggesting that it’s an absolute outrage if the final four are women. If got down to a final four and they were all white men, would that bother you in the least?

BUCHANAN: I don’t say it’s an outrage, I just say it’s affirmative action. They were picked because she’s a woman and a Hispanic and you know it as well as I do.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC