MSNBC's Bashir Asks Tancredo: 'Would You Have Preferred Obama's Death Over Bin Laden's?'

May 10th, 2011 6:17 PM

For the second time in less than 24 hours I find myself wondering how an American television "news" network could have assembled such a collection of ignoramuses.

After MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell Monday evening claimed the Founding Fathers would have understood the need to raise the debt ceiling in order to protect the country's credit rating, Martin Bashir on Tuesday actually asked former Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo if he would have preferred President Obama's death over Osama bin Laden's (video follows with transcript and commentary):

MARTIN BASHIR, HOST: In the wake of Osama bin Laden’s killing, I'd like to remind you of something you wrote in the Washington Times last July. You said, “Mr. Obama is a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda. We you know that Osama bin Laden and followers want to kill us but at least they are an outside force against whom we can offer our best defense. But when a dedicated enemy of the Constitution is working from the inside, we face a far more dangerous threat.”

Now, I know you're a political opponent of President Obama, but wasn't that a ludicrous thing to accuse the President of?

TOM TANCREDO, FORMER CONGRESSMAN (R-COLORADO): Well, I suppose you can phrase it that way because you would think of it that way, but I certainly don’t, millions of other people don't think it was ludicrous because of course the President of the United States as he said many times during his campaign is doing what he promised, and that is to fundamentally -- his quote, his exact words were, I am going to fundamentally transform America. Now, he said it on many occasions. His intent upon doing it, and what exactly does that mean? Well, I think we pretty much understand, he's got a low opinion of the Constitution. He's talked about that, too, about how it needs to be changed. The fact is that what he's done, and I'm very pleased about what has happened in Afghanistan. He's ordered an assassination. That is something that, of course, we would have just, oh, my gosh, if Bush had done something like assassinated somebody else, even Osama bin Laden, there would have been…

BASHIR: I don't think…

TANCREDO: Oh, you don't think it was an assassination?

BASHIR: No, I didn't say that. I think that the suggestion that President Bush would have been condemned for such a clean operation is unreasonable and unfair.

TANCREDO: He would have. Believe me. You would have been condemning it for an assassination. That's what you would have called it because of course it was that but we talked about during those days…

BASHIR: Sorry, Mr. Tancredo…

TANCREDO: …we continue to talk about how horrible it was. Any policy of assassination couldn’t be accepted. We accept it with Obama? That’s okay with me. We accept the idea of intimidation and coercive tactics…

BASHIR: If I may, if I may just…

TANCREDO: …to get the information with Obama. It’s okay with me.

BASHIR: If I may just for one moment.


BASHIR: You were suggesting that I would have condemned President Bush…


BASHIR: That's not able, that's not right. And also, you know, you're suggesting that there would have been condemnation of the Navy SEALs who executed that, but can I go back to your original quote if I may?


BASHIR: To follow your logic, would you have preferred then the death of the President as opposed to bin Laden?

TANCREDO: No. Of course not. My God. And that is not a logical assumption anybody can make.

BASHIR: Well, it is because…

TANCREDO: Only you would say a thing like that.

BASHIR: Mr. Tancredo.

TANCREDO: There was no logic. I never once suggested the President of the United States should be...

BASHIR: You said the president was a greater threat than Osama bin laden.

TANCREDO: …any violence should happen, any harm. And there is a way to deal with that here in the United States, and that is exactly what I hope to do and that is make sure he does not serve a second term. He's defeated at the polls. Not anything of a violent nature ever nor should I ever, nor would I suggest in a million years that that's some sort of tragedy should befall him.

BASHIR: Let's move on to, let's move on to immigration.

TANCREDO: I do not wish him harm the slightest bit of harm except political harm.

Once again I must ask: what do MSNBC's owners Comcast and General Electric think about this kind of a display from one of their employees?

Do these people think it's a fitting question to ask a former member of Congress if he would have preferred the death of a sitting president over what until nine days ago was public enemy number one?

Is there absolutely nothing these folks consider sacred?

Honestly, the more I watch of this network on a regular basis, the more sickened I am by everyone involved with it.

(H/T RCP via NBer Jane)