CNN's Rick Sanchez Tuesday grilled Texas gubernatorial candidate and Tea Party activist Debra Medina about her positions concerning America's role in the 9/11 attacks as well as whether or not Barack Obama was born in the United States.
"Just so for the record, if you want to stomp this out right here now on national television, do you believe the government, the U.S. government, played any role in all in 9/11?" Sanchez asked.
After Medina answered, Sanchez continued to press: "Debra, either you do or you don't believe that 9/11 was in any way caused or helped by the U.S. government. Do you or don't you?"
Once he was done with that issue, Sanchez moved on: "How about the birth certificate thing? You say you're not a truther. Are you a birther?" (video embedded below the fold with transcript, h/t HotAirPundit):
A Monday New York Times story from Houston by Texas-based reporter James McKinley Jr., "Taking Texas Primary Even Further to the Right," focused on Texas gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina, whose reputation took a hit when she played coy in a radio interview with Glenn Beck on a question about 9-11. Medina responded with the thought that "the American people have not seen all the evidence there." That's flirting with 9-11 Trutherism: The idea, which has taken hold on the paranoid left, that the government under President George Bush had prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks but did nothing to stop them.
While Medina later backtracked in a written statement, she deserves little sympathy for her initial outburst, whether it represents her true beliefs or if she was just making a cynical appeal to the paranoid right. But McKinley stacked the deck against Texas Republicans with his loaded labeling practices, tarring the party's candidates for governor as "far right."
Some days it is hard to be a neophyte far-right candidate in a governor's race, even in Texas, where Republicans vying for the party's nomination try to outdo one another to prove their conservative credentials.
On Wednesday’s Newsroom, CNN’s Rick Sanchez used a recent pro-Texas secession rally in Austin to renew attention on Governor Rick Perry’s April 2009 speech to a tea party where he appeared to endorse this political view. Sanchez, along with CNN political analyst Roland Martin, later strongly hinted that Governor Perry could be painted as a racist for using “states’ rights” language.
Sanchez began the last segment of the 3 pm Eastern hour with a clip from a rally organized by the Texas Nationalist Movement, where Republican Debra Medina (who was not identified by the anchor or by the on-screen graphics) quoted from Thomas Jefferson in her plea for Texas secession: “Stepping off into secession may, in fact, be a bloody war. We are aware. We understand that the tree of freedom is occasionally watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.”