CNN's Rick Sanchez Again Hints Rick Perry is a Racist

On Tuesday's Rick's List on CNN, Rick Sanchez again hinted that Texas Governor Rick Perry is a racist. Sanchez, reacting to the distinct possibility that Perry would win the Republican gubernatorial primary, referenced a comment he made at a tea party rally in 2009: "He was talking about states' rights. States' rights is, to most people of color, a racist term" [audio clip available here].

The CNN anchor discussed the Republican primary with Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News. He asked the journalist, "Perry's going to win this thing, right?" After Slater noted how Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison lost her early lead in the polls over Perry, Sanchez responded, with some shock, "Why? I mean- you know, when he came out with his comment. Remember, you and I talked about it when he said it. I mean, he was all about secession from the union. He was talking about states' rights. States' rights is, to most people of color, a racist term, and I thought he had hurt himself. Why wasn't she able to, kind of, jump on that and use it?"

Slater explained that the typical Republican primary voter in Texas is "very conservative," and that Perry had actually won the nomination race after he had made his "states' rights" remark at the tea party. This didn't calm Sanchez, however, and he followed up by asking, "Well, but shouldn't we be frightened by that?"

This isn't the first time that the anchor has leveled this insinuation against the Texas governor. Exactly six months earlier, on the September 2, 2009 edition of CNN's Newsroom, he made the same argument during a segment with CNN political analyst Roland Martin. When Martin stated that Perry had to be "very careful when you start talking about states' rights" and referenced segregationist Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett, Sanchez replied, "'States' rights' has racist overtones- I’ll say it for you."

The transcript of the relevant portion of Rick Sanchez's segment with Wayne Slater, starting at the 44 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern hour mark:
Rick Sanchez, CNN Anchor; & Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News Senior Political Writer | NewsBusters.orgSANCHEZ: [Rick] Perry's going to win this thing, right?

SLATER: It appears- certainly, if not tomorrow, it appears he would win in a runoff. That's really the- what's going to happen tomorrow- tonight.   Whether or not Rick Perry can win without a runoff- 50% plus one vote would get him there- one year ago, Rick Perry, double-digit lead over Kay Bailey Hutchison- I mean, Kay Bailey Hutchison with a double-digit lead over Rick Perry. Right now, Rick Perry, double-digit lead over Kay Bailey Hutchison- this was a collapse by the senior senator from Texas.
                    
SANCHEZ: Why? I mean- you know, when he came out with his comment. Remember, you and I talked about it when he said it. I mean, he was all about secession from the union. He was talking about states' rights. States' rights is, to most people of color, a racist term-

SLATER: Yeah.

SANCHEZ: And I thought he had hurt himself. Why wasn't she able to, kind of, jump on that and use it?

SLATER: Well, the key here is to understand who- what voters we're talking about. These are Republican primary voters in a Republican primary, a very conservative constituency, and it's interesting, because on the day that Rick Perry made the comments about secession here in Austin at a tea party rally, Kay Bailey Hutchison was in Houston at a fundraiser, stepped outside, stepped into a car with an aide, and when she heard about what Rick Perry had said- this was last April- she said, Rick Perry has just lost this race. In fact, Rick, we now know that that's when Rick Perry won the race among these conservative Republican primary-goers.

SANCHEZ: Well, but shouldn't we be frightened by that?

SLATER (laughs) Well, are you frightened by democracy?

SANCHEZ: Well-

SLATER: Glenn Beck will be all over you if you're fighting by- well, you know, look, this is a-

SANCHEZ: (laughs) It wouldn't be the first time.

SLATER: Well, here's the deal. I mean, the deal is that Texans really don't want to secede.

SANCHEZ: Right.

SLATER: You lived here. You know that Texans don't want to secede.

SANCHEZ: Right.

SLATER: What they hear in the word 'secession' is a kind of code that says, heck with the government, stick it to the government-

SANCHEZ: Yeah.

SLATER: And that's really- it's really about Texas exceptionalism.

SANCHEZ: And we're hearing that, by the way, from the coast of Maine to the tip of San Diego, from Key West to Seattle. So yeah, that's not particularly a Texas thing. I guess it's all a matter of degrees, as they say in Texas. Everything's a little bigger, Wayne (Slater laughs).
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center