Georgia Senate candidate, Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock was on The View Thursday where he was blessed with a nearly entirely softball interview. However, when he was questioned to explain one controversial comment, he dodged the question to attack his Republican opponent, Kelly Loeffler.
Going on any media show is usually a cakewalk for any Democrat politician or candidate running for office. They’re rarely asked about their own scandals while invited to attack their opponent. It was the same on The View today for most of the questions, such as Joy Behar's, "What do you think is the reason that they constantly are lying and in denial?" (referring to Loeffler and GOP).
But Ana Navarro specifically brought up a comment Warnock made in 2016 about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and asked to him to “explain.” Of course she set up the question as if to suggest this was a “false narrative” just like the ones Joe Biden faced:
Reverend, I live in Miami and I saw a false narrative against Joe Biden portraying him as a socialist and anti-police and anti-law and order and I saw it work in Miami. You have faced criticism from some Republicans over comments you have made in the past sermons that some interpret as being anti-police, anti-military, disparaging of Israel and you've been called out, I know my two senators from Florida were down there -- were up there in Georgia and you've been called out for calling Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's legacy ‘complex.’ Can you explain what you mean by ‘complex’ and can you tell us about, you know, this portrayal of you?
According to National Review, this is the context of what Navarro was referring to:
Speaking from the pulpit two days after Castro’s November 2016 death, Warnock prayed for the people of Cuba, and said “we remember Fidel Castro, whose legacy is complex.”
“Don’t let anybody tell you a simple story,” Warnock told parishioners. “Life usually isn’t very simple. His legacy is complex. Kind of like America’s legacy is complex.”
Warnock then compared America’s criminal justice system to communist Cuba’s history of taking political prisoners.
According to that same NR article, Castro himself actually spoke at Warnock's former church in Harlem in 1995, where Warnock served as a youth pastor, giving an anti-American speech which ended in the congregation singing a "socialist hymn."
But Warnock refused to explain the "complex" comment, only briefly denying he ever met Castro at his old church before spending the rest of his answer attacking his opponent (see transcript):
They're saying a lot of things, apparently. He has nothing to do with me. Never met him. Never invited him. I believe in the American system of free enterprise. This is the same old politics of division and fear because people who have no vision traffic in division. Kelly Loeffler should explain....
Unfortunately, there was no pushback or follow up question, despite Warnock deflecting and not addressing the crux of the question.
Joy Behar instead immediately started bashing Republicans in Congress, saying Americans would “see no money in 2021” if Republicans held the Senate (presumably referring to stimulus relief checks.) She followed up with a neutral question to conclude the interview.
Whoopi Goldberg wished Warnock well, promising the Democrat the hosts had their “fingers crossed for you.”
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Read the questions posed in transcript below:
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: So, I want to say to you because this is a historic voting moment because if you and your fellow Democrat Jon Ossoff win these runoffs, it really means that the Democrats may be able to really change the road that we've been on the last four years, but if your Republican opponents, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue win we're back to having some tough problems, not -- problems we can overcome but you know, what's the one thing you want everyone to know before they go out and vote?
JOY BEHAR: Right. So, Reverend, despite multiple Georgia recounts both GOP candidates back Trump's outrageous and completely false, ridiculous attempts to overturn the election, attacked Georgia's Republican election officials and still won't admit Biden won. Okay, yesterday Loeffler even hinted she could object to the electoral college votes, you know. What's going on here? Is this the only way they think that they can win? Is that what's going on here? People in Georgia have a very clear choice. You are the opposite of this woman Loeffler. I've been watching both of you. You are the opposite. It's not like, you know, they have confusion there. What do you think is the reason that they constantly are lying and in denial?
ANA NAVARRO: Reverend, question here, earlier this week trump retweeted a pro-trump attorney, Lin Wood who said Georgia's Governor and Secretary of State are soon going to jail. He tweeted out a photo doctored to show them wearing Chinese face masks. Wood has also called on support attorneys to boycott the runoff, to stock up on household supplies including Second Amendment supplies. Are you concerned about how much uglier this race could get? What do you even say about this?
SUNNY HOSTIN: Reverend, your opponent Kelly Loeffler called you a radical liberal a grand total of I believe 13 times in your debate last week. You certainly took the high road when debating her. Republicans have echoed her claims like incoming congressman Madison Cawthorn who just said ‘you are coming down here and disguising yourself as some moderate pastor from the South and that you don't represent what real Americans believe’. I find that shocking knowing that you are from Georgia, my father is from Georgia, Georgians are very proud of where they come from and Kelly Loeffler, in fact, is not from Georgia, right, she's from Illinois, was born, raised there, went to school there. How do you respond to these claims against you?
ANA NAVARRO: Reverend, I live in Miami and I saw a false narrative against Joe Biden portraying him as a socialist and anti-police and anti-law and order and I saw it work in Miami. You have faced criticism from some Republicans over comments you have made in the past sermons that some interpret as being anti-police, anti-military, disparaging of Israel and you've been called out, I know my two senators from Florida were down there -- were up there in Georgia and you've been called out for calling Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's legacy ‘complex.’ Can you explain what you mean by ‘complex’ and can you tell us about, you know, this portrayal of you?
WARNOCK: They're saying a lot of things, apparently. He has nothing to do with me. Never met him. Never invited him. I believe in the American system of free enterprise. This is the same old politics of division and fear because people who have no vision traffic in division. Kelly Loeffler should explain why she sits down for interviews with a known white supremacist. She should explain why she gladly and enthusiastically received the endorsement of Qanon conspiracy theorists, a theory that trafficks in anti-semitism, racism and bigotry. She should explain why the former head of the KKK follows her around the rally and takes selfies with her. He’s one of her supporters. I don't know why she has this record but my mom used to say the birds of a feather flock together. I think she should ask herself what is it about her message that draws these kinds of people to her campaign?
JOY BEHAR: You know, Reverend, I really think that the voters in Georgia need to understand that if the Republicans retain the Senate, they will see no more money in 2021 because McConnell is hanging on to that money and they will see nothing. They should understand that. But let's give a good word for Republicans for a second because the folks who ran the elections in Georgia stepped up and did this correctly when they could have gone along with the idea that there was some kind of cheating. Did that surprise you? Does it give you confidence about your upcoming election?