Rep. Joe Walsh Educates Martin Bashir: 'Your Profession Did Not Vet' Obama

Republican Congressman Joe Walsh and left-leaning MSNBC anchor Martin Bashir got into a contentious exchange over Barack Obama on Friday. The Congressman bluntly explained to Bashir, "Your profession did not vet [Obama]..."  See video below. MP3 audio here.

Bashir became visibly upset as he discussed Walsh's plan to skip the President's jobs speech next Thursday, implying racism as the reason. The anchor theorized, "I am asking you, are you able to be as disrespectful to the office of president by simply walking away from something that every member of the Congress is going to attend? Is that also because he's black?"

This came after Bashir highlighted past Walsh statements, including saying America elected Obama because he was "black" and "historic."

Bashir acidly wondered, "And you say that liberals here- we're in love with him, being a black, articulate man. You say- If liberals see the President through his race, how do you see him? Are you color blind?"

The Congressman explained his comments, adding, "I think that we elected this President for who he was, a historic figure. It made this country feel good to elect him."

Walsh followed this with his shot at liberal journalists and their affinity for Obama: "We did not vet him. Your profession did not vet him as much as we should."

Only two days ago, MSNBC's Richard Wolffe suggested that Republicans rejected the President's original request for speaking time because of the "color of his skin."

[Thanks to the MRC's Ken Shepherd for the video.]

A partial transcript of the September 2 segment follows:


3:38pm EDT

MARTIN BASHIR: You said in the past that Mr. Obama would never have been elected if he wasn't black. And you say liberals here- we're in love with him, being a black, articulate man. You say- If liberals see the President through his race, how do you see him? are you color blind? Are you color blind?

JOE WALSH: No- Here's what I think- I think- I do my best to be color blind, Martin. And, again, not knowing you I am sure you do as well. Here is what I think: I think that we elected this President for who he was, a historic figure. It made this country feel good to elect him. We did not vet him. Your profession did not vet him as much as we should.

BASHIR: Do you understand-

WALSH: And now- Martin, let me finish-   

BASHIR: I don't have enough time. I don't have enough time. No, Mr. Walsh, I just have to make a connection-

WALSH: We're three years into the presidency and now we know what he's done.

BASHIR: I just have to make a connection.        

WALSH: Go ahead.

BASHIR: I just want to make connection between what you said just. You just said, we elected him because he was a historic figure. He's black.

WALSH: No, no you said that. You said that. You said that, Martin.

BASHIR: No, you said that. You just made the connection.

WALSH: I said we elected him because of who he was.

BASHIR: I'm asking you- I am asking you, are you able to be as disrespectful to the office of president by simply walking away from something that every member of the Congress is going to attend? Is that also because he's black?

WALSH: Oh, gosh, Martin! White, black, brown, yellow, you don't name it. We have a President right now that is bankrupting this country and is destroying job creation in the country and I think it is purely political for him to call a joint session of Congress to announce some jobs plan. I'm going to go back home and speak to the people who really know how to create jobs in this country.

BASHIR: Mr. Walsh, we will look forward to the jobs that you create in the alternative speech there in the forum of Illinois, and for the moment, thank you so much for joining us, sir.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org