Chuck Todd Acts Tough With DNC Chair Perez, Then Lets Non-Answer Slide

November 6th, 2017 9:40 AM

One of the more annoying double standards displayed by the left-leaning press is how they ask genuine follow-up questions of Republicans and conservatives who try to dodge their questions, while letting Democrats and liberals slide when they engage in similar behavior.

A perfect example of this occurred Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, when, prompted by a Latino Victory Fund ad portraying supporters of Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie as murderous, Confederate flag-waving. pickup truck-driving racists, Chuck Todd asked DNC chair Tom Perez if he believes all pickup truck owners really are racist — and then let him slide without getting a definitive "yes" or "no."

As we will see in the video segment which follows, Todd teed up his question perfectly, But then, after failing to get a responsive answer, he let Perez off the hook by changing the subject to what might happen if Gillespie, despite, the smears, defeats Democrat Ralph Northam in the Tuesday's race:

Transcript (full program transcript here; bolds are mine):

CHUCK TODD: I've got to ask you about Tuesday's elections here. And there's been a lot of charges of who's running a hateful or angry campaign. Terry McAuliffe called Ed Gillespie's campaign "racist." But I've got to play for you this, this ad that a Latino group ran and then you're going to see a Virginia Republican ad response to it. Take a look.

(Portions of political ads) (From Latino Victory Fund) RUN! RUN! RUN!


(back in studio)

TODD: I'm sure you've been familiar with the ad itself and the controversy around the ad. And the Republican party's response, that it was basically, Democrats don't like it when, you know, when Republicans stereotype.

Aren't you stereotyping? Are all pickup trucks--I drive a pickup truck. I mean, are all pickup truck drivers racist? That’s what the ad--do you understand why some people think the ad implies that?

TOM PEREZ: Well, Chuck, let's be clear about what's happening in the race in Virginia and in all too many races, dog-whistle politics. Steve Bannon just endorsed Ed Gillespie in Virginia this morning. And throughout this campaign, Ed Gillespie has been fear mongering. He's been doing the same thing Donald Trump did. That's not fair. That's not right. Virginia, under Ralph Northam's leadership, under Justin Fairfax leadership, they're looking for a way to unite people. And Ed Gillespie, throughout the campaign, has been dividing people. And when you, when you hit the bully back, and the bully starts crying, those are crocodile tears to me.

So Perez's response was to essentially to justify the Latino Victory Fund's despicable ad as "hit(ting) the bully back," because Team Gillespie has supposedly been engaging in "dog-whistle politics." Todd didn't ask: "How can you attack 'dog-whistle politics' and then support this ad?" 

Democrats' major and completely false criticism is that Gillespie didn't respond appropriately to the August white nationalist demonstrations and related confrontations in Charlottesville. As Holmes Lybrand at the Weekly Standard noted on November 2, Gillespie, pointedly disagreeing with President Trump's assessment immediately after those tragic events, said that he saw ‘no fine people’ marching in Charlottesville. (The Washington Post quibbled that Gillespie didn't specifically mention Trump's name. So?)

Lybrand also noted that several days later, in a speech at an Americans For Prosperity event, Gillespie specifically condemned "these racists (and) these white supremacists," describing them as "not on a legitimate left to right spectrum of any kind of a political spectrum that goes from left to right." He added that those groups have "a twisted mindset rooted in hating and oppressing certain of us and my fellow Virginians and my fellow conservatives reject that kind of twisted mindset."

Rather than get the "yes" or "no" answer Todd's pickup truck question demanded, Todd switched gears and asked Perez about potential fallout from Tuesday's race if Northam doesn't hold on to his polling lead (at a recently and significantly narrowed 2.0 points, according to RealClearPolitics as of late Sunday evening), and then let Perez run out the clock:

TODD: The party have to do some soul searching if you don't win Virginia governor?

PEREZ: Oh, we're going to win Virginia governor. And I've been out there. And here's the thing, Chuck, I was out there literally yesterday, campaigning with Justin Fairfax, campaigning in a House of Delegates race. We had people from Our Revolution there, we had people from Swing Left there, we had people from the D.N.C. there. The people across America that I see every day in Virginia, New Jersey, and Washington State and district 45, they're moving forward. They want us to focus on the future. We're building that infrastructure of success. We've knocked on twice as many doors as we did four years ago when Terry McAuliffe won, and I'm confident we're going to win again this Tuesday both in New Jersey, Virginia, and many other key races across the country.

At that point, Todd could have at least pressed Perez on the fact that several leftist groups have withdrawn their support for Northam or have chosen not to actively campaign on his behalf, because the candidate's positions, in their view, are not far enough to the left. Instead, he ended the segment.

The likelihood that the Meet the Press host would have been so quick with a Republican or conservative to move on to another topic without getting a satisfactory answer to a simple "yes" or "no" question is virtually zero.

Cross-posted at