Battle Ensues On Fox News Sunday Over Existence of Racism In Opposition To President Obama

On Sunday, August 3, a panel discussion on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace broke out into a heated debate over whether or not opposition to President Obama’s policies had racial undertones. Juan Williams, former NPR reporter and current Fox News contributor, argued that "the Republican Party has become almost a completely white party." 

For his part, Michael Needham, CEO of Heritage Action sharply criticized Williams and insisted "you’re demonizing good people who are concerned about a president who’s completely out of control." [See video below.] 

The debate between Needham and Williams began with moderator Chris Wallace asking Williams "do you think that the Republican opposition to this president, you heard Hakeem Jeffries talk about hatred, is racial or do you think it is based on principles and policies?" The former NPR reporter immediately used Wallace’s questioning as a jumping off point to attack conservatives as having a racial bias against President Obama: 

If you look at the core constituency, the people who are in let’s say Tea Party opposition support of impeachment there's no diversity. It's a white older group of people. 

Michael Needham took great offense to the liberal Fox News contributor’s argument and shot back: 

Chris, if you were to open up your dictionary to the word irony, you would find Juan Williams in there claiming I'm demonizing people because I’m saying that the President of the United States is lawless which by the way the Supreme Court agreed with by a 9-0..

Needham continued to condemn Williams' attack on conservatives:  

You think there’s any racial element to the impeachment thing? That's a ridiculous ironic statement. You're the one demonizing people who are concerned about the fact that we have a crisis of the constitution. With Jonathan Turley a liberal law professor, just testified in the last couple weeks are, you’re the one demonizing, you’re demonizing good people who are concerned about a president who’s completely out of control. 

Juan Williams attempted to defend himself by doubling-down on his attack:

I said the core constituency, the people who want him impeached, they’re all white and they’re all older and guess what they’re all in the far right-wing of the Republican Party. 

The back-and-forth concluded with the Heritage Action CEO slapping Williams down one last time when he proclaimed "he might as well have just said and they are all racist. That's ridiculous."

See relevant transcript below. 


Fox News 

Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace

August 3, 2014

CHRIS WALLACE: I want to pick up on exactly that point. Do you think that the Republican opposition to this president, you heard Hakeem Jeffries talk about hatred, is racial or do you think it is based on principles and policies? 

JUAN WILLIAMS: Well, all I can do is look at the numbers. If you look at the core constituency, the people who are in let’s say Tea Party opposition support of impeachment there's no diversity. It's a white older group of people. As to whether or not it's racial, you know, look President Obama and others have said there’s some people who don't like him because of his race. Some people who do like him. But I would say if you just break it down as a matter of political analysis and say who is this group, it reminds me that the Republican Party has become almost a completely white party. 

MICHAEL NEEDHAM: Chris, if you were to open up your dictionary to the word irony, you would find Juan Williams in there claiming I'm demonizing people because I’m saying that the President of the United States is lawless which by the way the Supreme Court agreed with by a 9-0... You think there’s any racial element to the impeachment thing? That's a ridiculous ironic statement. You're the one demonizing people who are concerned about the fact that we have a crisis of the constitution. With Jonathan Turley a liberal law professor, just testified in the last couple weeks are, you’re the one demonizing, you’re demonizing good people who are concerned about a president who’s completely out of control. 

WILLIAMS: Michael, nobody’s look, we can have a principled argument about President Obama’s actions and use of executive actions and authority. But you called him lawless as if he's an outlaw. As if you have him riding the range. We got to go get that guy.

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: I think when 9-0 on the Supreme Court--

WILLIAMS: I didn’t say...I said the core constituency, the people who want him impeached, they’re all white and they’re all older and guess what they’re all in the far right-wing of the Republican Party. 

NEEDHAM: And he might as well have just said and they are all racist. That's ridiculous.

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