Andrea Mitchell's attempt to imply Rick Perry was being racially insensitive, for calling fellow GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain "brother," during Tuesday's Republican debate, was so lame even her NBC colleague Chuck Todd wasn't buying it. Mitchell, on Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, dredged up the N-Head controversy on Perry as she scolded: "If I were Rick Perry and had that sign or the, the stone that used to be on that, that property I'm not sure I would've gone with the 'brother' stuff, over and over again."
Todd then tried to rein in his NBC colleague as he admonished: "Just very quickly on the 'brother' thing. That's a Southern cultural thing," and reminded her that their "late friend Mr. [Tim] Russert" was also fond of using that term in a friendly way, "He loved to refer to all of us as brother." Even the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza came to Perry's defense as he agreed with Todd and offered: "It sounded to me more like Hulk Hogan saying, 'brother.'"
The following exchanges were aired on the October 19 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports:
ANDREA MITCHELL: And Chris Cillizza what about Herman Cain and [Rick] Perry trying to take him on? This is Perry trying to take him on, on 9-9-9 and the whole apples and oranges bit.
RICK PERRY: Herman, I love you brother. But let me tell you something. You don't have to have a big analysis to figure this out. Go to New Hampshire where they don’t have a sales tax and you're fixin' to give 'em one. I'll bump plans with ya brother.
MITCHELL: Brother Cillizza, I don't know if I were, as Joe Scarborough said, if I, if I were Rick Perry and had that sign or the, the stone that used to be on that, that property I'm not sure I would've gone with the "brother" stuff, over and over again. A little uncomfortable.
CHUCK TODD: Yeah, just very quickly on the "brother" thing. That's a Southern cultural thing.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, WASHINGTON POST: Yeah.
TODD: So I think, you know, there's, there’s times - people want to pick on Rick Perry.
TODD: This is just too easy.
CILLIZZA: I agree. It sounded more like, it sounded to me more like Hulk Hogan saying "brother."
MITCHELL: It was brother, it was brother Joe Scarborough, Southern culture-
TODD: Don't forget brother, brother, brother Tim. Our, our late friend Mr. Russert.
MITCHELL: Okay, well-
TODD: He loved to refer to all of us as brother.
MITCHELL: Well it just came off a little bit strangely.