Tavis Smiley: I’m ‘Tickled’ by Cruz Birtherism from ‘Unrepentant,’ ‘Racial Arsonist’ Trump

During the panel discussion on the Sunday edition ABC’s This Week, panelist and PBS host Tavis Smiley declared that he was “tickled” by the birtherism surrounding Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz being perpetuated by “an unrepentant, irascible religious and racial arsonist” in Donald Trump who also “troubles” him in that the media haven’t supposedly tried to project Trump on the entire GOP. 

Interjecting with his thoughts on the near exhaustive coverage of whether Cruz is eligible to be president, Smiley explained that he’s “happy to see Donald Trump go after Cruz on this issue” since, in his mind, the Republican Party had been collectively “so aggressive going after President Obama” with the birtherism questions.

Smiley added that, in light of this so-called irony from “a few years ago,” he has been rather “tickled by it” being used against the conservative Senator.

Tell the Truth 2016

The liberal PBS host turned his attention to Trump and his candidacy, lamenting that the billionaire is an arsonist on race and religion and thus deserves to be discredited: 

What troubles me though is that — that Trump is still to my mind at least an unrepentant, irascible religious and racial arsonist and so, when we talk about how Trump is rising in the poll, you can't do that absent the kind of campaign he's running, the issues he's raising and for us to say Donald Trump is rising in the polls and not connect that to the base message that he's putting out there, I think this misses the point. 

The relevant portion of the transcript from ABC’s This Week on January 10 can be found below.

ABC’s This Week
January 10, 2016
10:42 a.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you going to mess with the Republican primary? 

TAVIS SMILEY: I'm happy to see Donald Trump go after Cruz on this issue because to Donna's point, they did it so — 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even though there's nothing to it? 

SMILEY: They did it so — there's nothing to it, but let me be clear, there's nothing to it but were so aggressive going after President Obama on nothing to that either a few years ago, so I'm tickled by it. What troubles me though is that — that Trump is still to my mind at least an unrepentant, irascible religious and racial arsonist and so, when we talk about how Trump is rising in the poll, you can't do that absent the kind of campaign he's running, the issues he's raising and for us to say Donald Trump is rising in the polls and not connect that to the base message that he's putting out there, I think this misses the point. 

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center