Democratic strategist and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Angela Rye picked the wrong panel Sunday to accuse the Tea Party of being "racial."
When he heard this during his appearance on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry show, Republican strategist Ron Christie strongly objected saying, "Racial! I will not sit here and allow you to say that!” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
During a lengthy political discussion with Christie as the lone conservative against four extreme liberals (including the host, of course), Rye said, “I was just thinking, to me, in 2010, the Republican infighting took a particularly dangerous tone because it wasn’t just about infighting anymore. It was about taking our country back with the resurrection of the Tea Party. And it was very, very racial, whether any of them will admit it or not.”
Christie quickly refuted this saying, “Racial! I will not sit here and allow you to say that!”
“I said it, and I’ll say it again,” Rye responded.
“The Tea Party came in, there were 63 people who came in in 2010 because the government grew too much,” replied Christie as he wagged his finger at Rye.
“That’s fine,” she said. “You should calm down just a little bit.”
“No, no, no,” Christie shot back. “I will not allow people to sit here and say there was a racial aspect to it. That’s absolutely false!”
At that point, the host cut in for a commercial break before saying, “This is absolutely valuable, and I’m not going to let it die over the course of the commercial.”
After the break, Harris-Perry said, “Alright, we're back, because there's a real tension here that I think is worth us spending a little time with. So I want to pause and breathe, because that's what nerdland is good for.
"Angela, I want to allow you first to make your point, because what I heard you say was that the language of take back our country had a racialized overtone to it that was associated with the election of a black president. But what I felt like I heard Ron, what I felt like I heard you heard Angela say was, Republicans are racist. So let me pause and allow you both to say what you meant to say and how you heard it.”
“The Tea Party has some serious racial challenges,” began Rye.
She then relayed the as yet totally unproven claim that when black members of the House of Representatives were walking into the Capitol to vote on ObamaCare a few years ago, Tea Partiers shouted the N-word at Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) and spat on another one.
When she was finished, Christie said, “I'm curious, were you there that day?”
“No, I was not,” answered Rye.
“I was actually there that day,” replied Christie. "I was doing a stand-up for MSNBC. I was actually out talking with Tea Party people. I actually saw John Lewis walk out to go to the Capitol to vote. I did not hear the N-word being turned.”
“I'm sorry you did not hear it,” objected Rye.
“And John Lewis has never said on camera,” Christie continued, “reporters have asked him, ‘Did people call you the N-word?’ And he has not said anything.”
“And most of the members said that they would refuse to talk about that day because it was so insulting,” replied Rye.
“The only thing I can say to you is that I was there, I was standing there, I was listening, I didn't hear it. Again, it’s a difference of opinion,” Christie maintained.
“It's not an opinion,” Rye claimed.
“For you not having been there, and me actually having been there,” objected Christie.
What was Rye’s response? “I talked to the members, Ron.”
Christie just looked at her and said emphatically, “I talked to the members myself. I was physically there.”
Unfortunately, what Christie was experiencing is how liberals don't accept evidence that refutes their claims.
It doesn't matter that Christie was there and Rye wasn't. She spoke to people that said it happened, and that's enough.
It also doesn't matter that before his death, Andrew Breitbart offered a $100,000 reward for anyone that could produce video or audio evidence that any member of Congress was called the N-word.
Despite every major news outlet having a camera crew at the Capitol that day - and all those attendees with smartphones - no one collected the reward.
Because there's absolutely no evidence that any member of Congress was called the N-word or spat on that day.
But liberals don't need evidence. They just say something over and over, and it therefore becomes fact.
For the record, Christie had the following to say about this exchange via email:
"I enjoy the opportunity to appear on MSNBC to discuss politics with those who don't share my conservative views. As one who rarely loses his temper on television, the combination of liberal condescension combined with the notion that Republicans and Tea Party conservatives are racist was just too much for me to let that comment remain unaddressed."
Well said, Ron.