Joy Behar: Michele Bachmann 'Red Baiting'

October 21st, 2008 5:40 PM

Surprisingly, the October 21 "View" mentioned Congressman John Murtha’s "my constituents are racist" comments. Though Joy Behar called it a "stupid thing to say," they were much gentler on Murtha than on Michele Bachmann, who stated that Obama has associated with anti-American individuals.

Joy Behar labeled Bachmann a "red baiter" and alluded to the McCarthy era. Whoopi Goldberg asked "it okay for someone to start attacking your beliefs in your country because you don’t agree with their views?" Sherri Shepherd, who has confused historic time lines, recalls growing up in the McCarthy era before other co-hosts reminded her she was not yet born. Even the token Republican, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, would not defend Congresswoman Bachmann.

Is this a case of labeling one anti-American for a simple disagreement? A transcript of a recent "Hardball" interview demonstrates that she clearly alluded to Obama’s associations, William Ayers and Reverend Wright, who are indeed anti-American.

As the conversation progressed to Obama’s flip flop on accepting public financing, Joy Behar defended such an action because Obama needs the money to counter the "Republican attack machine." Behar also claimed Obama as an African-American has "a lot of obstacles to overcome."

Whoopi Goldberg rounded up the political discussion defending Obama’s tax plan. Noting as one in the top bracket, she is willing to pay more because Obama is "going to take care of the programs that I’m interested in." Then denying such a proposal is socialism she called it "the American way."

The transcript follows. 

WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Pennsylvania Congressman John Murtha had his constituents pissed off over calling them racist. And now he’s clarifying his statement by saying he meant "redneck."



GOLDBERG: Is this better?



JOY BEHAR: That’s another gaffe. That’s another gaffe. It’s another stupid thing to say. You know, to paint an entire section of a state as one thing is just dumb. And Murtha knows- he should know better. I mean, he should really know bettter.

SHEPHERD: But, redneck now is, Foxworthy has made fun of- has brought up redneck and not it’s taking a turn. It means something different now, you know, you may be a redneck.

BEHAR: I know but it’s almost like the slip of the tongue. He meant to say- he means racist I think. So now he’s clarifying it. Come on!

HASSELBECK: Yeah, that’s not so much of a clarification. You got to get a bigger mop if you’re going to try and clarify-

BEHAR: It’s like Obama’s doing great. The guy is- really has no missteps, basically maybe a couple of little along the way.

HASSELBECK: In terms of campaigning or-

BEHAR: In campaigning. I mean, he really has been pretty good. He’s kept his temper. He’s been very steady. He doesn’t really go out and say stupid things, you know?

HASSELBECK: He’s got Joe Biden for that.

BEHAR: Well, but that’s the point. It’s like, with friends like Murtha and Biden saying things that are hurting the campaign, who needs these friends?


GOLDBERG: Now what’s interesting I think is actually what Murtha was trying to say was that his concern was for the older folks who have different perception of the world because, you know, in their day it just never would have been a realistic thing for a black man to be running and I think what I think he was trying to say was "I think it’s going to be hard for the people in my district, even though they love us as Democrats to make that leap of faith." I think that’s what he’s trying to say, and when people step in it, you know, better to just say, you know, "I’m in it. I stepped in it." Because as soon as you try to dig out, you go further down and further down.

SHEPHERD: That’s what I like about McCain. He goes "I screwed up."


GOLDBERG: Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been on the TV circuit thing saying Obama may have anti-America views-Obama may have anti-American views and it’s hurt her own campaign within three days because he comments spawned a backlash and a lot of support for her opponent. Now, what does she mean?

BEHAR: Well, she’s also saying that the Congress, the Democratic Congress, should be vetted to see who is anti-American in the Congress at this point. She is what you call a red baiter. And we had this during the McCarthy period in the 50's. And, and he came out in the same- a similar era I think, which is irrelevant. It’s just an old thing to bait people and say they’re commies. It’s typical. I hope the American people are smarter than that.


GOLDBERG: So Joy and Elisabeth were talking about this woman, who-

BEHAR: Michele.

GOLDBERG: Who, Michele-

BEHAR: Bachmann.

GOLDBERG: Bachmann. And I asked a question, my question is, is it wrong to start baiting? I don’t- I- however you feel about the other candidates is not my, my question. But is it okay for someone to start attacking your beliefs in your country because you don’t agree with their views? That’s the question that I was posing.

SHEPHERD: And I feel like, Joy, it just reminds me- I was very little- but of the McCarthy era.

GOLDBERG: You weren’t even born.

BEHAR: You weren’t even born.

SHEPHERD: I was trying to insert my self into the era. [laughing]

GOLDBERG: You weren’t there yet.

SHEPHERD: But it was a very scary thing when they start going "you are not, and we are." And it’s a total separation. It’s- that’s very, very scary thing.

BEHAR: Well, she’s getting hers this time. She’ll be thrown out of the Congress. But what I was going to just ask you. There has been a lot of conversation where Obama said he would take public financing then he changed his mind. And they’re all throwing this at him. So he has raised millions and millions.

HASSELBECK: 800 million almost.

BEHAR: $800 million which is why, which is what he needs to beat the Republican, you know, attack machine.

GOLDBERG: Go ahead. Go ahead.

BEHAR: He does. He does. And also, you know, the fact that he’s African American. He has a lot of obstacles to overcome. He needs that money. So he- so John McCain is now ticked off and his campaign is ticked off that he said he would take the public financing and he didn’t.

HASSELBECK: It’s about principle.

BEHAR: Oh really? So if McCain got the 100- 700 million, would he give it back?

HASSELBECK: You know what? I think John McCain is a man of his word and a man of honor-



HASSELBECK: Listen, there’s a pattern- this is a man, this is a man of honor. They agreed upon this, okay, they looked at one another and said they would do this. Senator Obama has also, like I said before, he ran for Senate, promised people to lower taxes, did everything but that when he was in. He promised- he spent, wants to spend $3 trillion-

BEHAR: McCain, a man of honor, doesn’t say I agree 90 percent of the time with George Bush and now I don’t agree with him. That is not a man of honor.


HASSELBECK: You know what I like? If you listen to- when you listen to a guy like Joe the plumber who’s been going around.

BEHAR: He’s not Joe. He’s not licensed.

HASSELBECK: He is a plumber. He is a plumber.

GOLDBERG: He’s not a plumber.

BEHAR: His name’s not even Joe.

HASSELBECK: His middle name’s Joe.

BEHAR: He’s not- he’s Seymour the plumber.

GOLDBERG: Make a point because she’s got something to talk about.

HASSELBECK: I’m saying she is- he is a guy who’s actually put into perspective what people are saying. Barack Obama is going to take our hard earned money and spread it around as he sees fit and he has- he has no experience in terms of money.

GOLDBERG: Can I talk to this? Because this is crap! This is crap!


GOLDBERG: Because when you make a certain amount of money, the more money you make, the more taxes you pay. That has been the American way for many years.

HASSELBECK: Yes, that’s how it is now.

GOLDBERG: That’s right. So don’t be surprised that the cost of paying that tax is going up. I have said, and I stand by this, that no matter who gets, and we have two wars, we have a lot of crap to pay for. Now if they really want me to be happy which is-

BEHAR: They do.

GOLDBERG: -which is this on their thing because I’m Whoop the bonehead. They would say, okay you know what? You want to pay less taxes? Pay less state taxes. Because the federal government is getting more money, so they can put some of that into your hands.

HASSELBECK: But why-okay.

GOLDBERG: Wait. Here I paid some of those taxes that have shown up on your other bills like your phone bill, like anytime you buy something there’s taxes on there you don’t know anything about. We’re putting a moratorium on those taxes. I will pay any amount of tax that is required to do my part to make the country better. What I don’t like, what I do not like is paying taxes that no one can explain to me. I don’t care Barack if you’re going to raise my taxes because I know you’re going to take care of the programs that I’m interested in. I’m okay with that. That is not socialism. That is not socialism. That is the American way.