Larry Elder Makes A Fool Of Himself Defending The GOP's Racism

[media id=7027] Larry Elder makes a fool of himself defending the GOP distributing the racist CD on Anderson Cooper 360. ELDER: It's much ado abou

Larry Elder makes a fool of himself defending the GOP distributing the racist CD on Anderson Cooper 360.

ELDER: It's much ado about nothing. Let's remember the genesis of this, there was an article Anderson, in the "L.A. Times" calls "Barack the magic Negro." It was not written by a conservative, in which he made the argument that the reason that people appeal to Barack Obama is that he's not offensive, he's not scary, he's not a criminal, and that's why whites like him.

Limbaugh then did a parody to, as you pointed out, "Puff the Magic Dragon," but the parody really was a Sharpton-like singer. And what the Sharpton-like singer was saying is, I'm unhappy that all these white people like Obama, because if Obama wins, what the hell am I going to do for a living? And so that's what this was. If anybody ought to be offended, it's Al Sharpton.

What bothers me, Anderson, is this whole piece. Democrats say things that are racist or at least racially insensitive about Republicans all the time.

Donna Brazile, who works for your network, once referred to the Republican Party as having a white-boy study.

Howard Dean once said, well, if Republicans were here at this convention, Democrats -- blacks were -- Republicans were here, the only blacks here would be serving tables.

Claire McCaskill running for senate said, George W. Bush let people suffer and die on rooftops in Katrina because they were poor and they were black.

Charlie Rangel, the head of the house and ways committee --

COOPER: You're saying a double standard?

ELDER: -- said that Republicans want taxes. They don't say "N" word or "s" word anymore, they just say, let's cut taxes. They make blatant racist appeals all the time that you let a Republican do a parody, and the fit hits the shan (ph). It's nuts, Anderson.

No Larry what's nuts is calling anyone who points out that the Republican party is full of racists "racially insensitive" or making "blatent racist appeals". I'll say it's becoming increasingly unnecessary to point that out to anyone since the GOP is doing a fine job all on its own of making sure that racism is in your face.

ELDER: It was -- Ms. Rosen, it was satire. And I don't think you want to go over the racist history of the Democratic Party; the party that was opposed to the 13th, the 14th, the 15th amendment, the party that founded the Klan. I'm not defending Republicans' insensitivity in the last two years. They were wrong.

ROSEN: What are you defending?

ELDER: If you want to go over the history of the party, the Democratic Party is a party, historically --

Well Larry you also forgot to point out that those Democrats you're talking about became Republicans.

Full transcript below the fold.

COOPER: Well, the RNC is feeling plenty of aftershocks from all this. Let's talk strategy with our panel.

Joining me again: Hilary Rosen, CNN political contributor and editor-at-large for the "Huffington Post"; also Ed Henry, in Honolulu tonight, and a Los Angeles former radio talk show host and best- selling author, Larry Elder.

Larry let me start with you, as you've just heard on Jim Acosta's piece, Ken Blackwell who is running for the RNC chairmanship isn't offended. He says it's essentially media-made controversy and people are being hypersensitive. What do you think?

ELDER: It's much ado about nothing. Let's remember the genesis of this, there was an article Anderson, in the "L.A. Times" calls "Barack the magic Negro." It was not written by a conservative, in which he made the argument that the reason that people appeal to Barack Obama is that he's not offensive, he's not scary, he's not a criminal, and that's why whites like him.

Limbaugh then did a parody to, as you pointed out, "Puff the Magic Dragon," but the parody really was a Sharpton-like singer. And what the Sharpton-like singer was saying is, I'm unhappy that all these white people like Obama, because if Obama wins, what the hell am I going to do for a living? And so that's what this was. If anybody ought to be offended, it's Al Sharpton.

What bothers me, Anderson, is this whole piece. Democrats say things that are racist or at least racially insensitive about Republicans all the time.

Donna Brazile, who works for your network, once referred to the Republican Party as having a white-boy study.

Howard Dean once said, well, if Republicans were here at this convention, Democrats -- blacks were -- Republicans were here, the only blacks here would be serving tables.

Claire McCaskill running for senate said, George W. Bush let people suffer and die on rooftops in Katrina because they were poor and they were black.

Charlie Rangel, the head of the house and ways committee --

COOPER: You're saying a double standard?

ELDER: -- said that Republicans want taxes. They don't say "N" word or "s" word anymore, they just say, let's cut taxes. They make blatant racist appeals all the time that you let a Republican do a parody, and the fit hits the shan (ph). It's nuts, Anderson.

COOPER: Hilary, your take.

ROSEN: Two things. Unfortunately, Larry, the facts ends up tripping you up on this one which is that several hundred RNC members, there's only two or three African-Americans. It's just not an inclusive party.

The second point I would make, really, is about this song, which is -- it's one thing for entertainers and columnists to try political satire. It does not work with politicians.

This guy is trying to be the leader of the Republican Party. He's trying to demonstrate that this is an inclusive party, that they understand, you know, that America's got to move forward together. Every message that gets sent with political satire ends up being alienating not inclusive. And it's just -- it just shows a real tin ear, I think, to the messages that Republican Party leadership need to show right now.

COOPER: Larry, I want you to respond, but before I do, Ed, what is the Obama's camp take on all this? Earlier on, when Limbaugh played this, the Obama camp indicated it wasn't all that concerned, I think, if I'm correct.

HENRY: Yes. They're basically not commenting, because they basically say, look, we don't want to dignify it. And the Democrats I've spoken to today basically say, look, Republicans took it on the chin in the last election, specifically with African-American and Hispanic voters.

And regardless of the politics back and forth, using the word "Negro" in a song like this seems like a bad idea coming out of the last election, given what happened, given the historic victory for Barack Obama, first African-American president, obviously, but then also, again, really poor numbers for Republicans among minority voters. Seems like a bad idea. Seems unlikely he's going to win the RNC chair.

COOPER: Larry, just politically, do you think it's a smart idea that this guy did this?

ELDER: I would like to respond to Ms. Rosen.

COOPER: Sure.

ELDER: First of all, 30 percent of Asians voted for Republicans, 30 percent of Hispanics voted for Republicans. It is not an all-white party, and it is open --

ROSEN: Only the people in charge.

ELDER: You don't have to have a $5,000 membership. If you believe in low taxes, if you believe in peace through strength, not strength through peace, if you believe in family values, if you believe in a government takeover is a bad idea, come on down. The water's fine.

COOPER: Larry, let's not make this a commercial for whether or not you should join the Republican Party if you're a minority. Larry, politically, do you think this was a wise idea for a guy who wants to run the RNC to put this out?

ELDER: What bothers me is that Republicans have to walk on eggshells lest they be perceived as being racists. Democrats can say things like Hilary did, the Republican Party is run like a plantation, and you know what I'm talking about, and that's not a problem.

They make appeals, basically by saying, these guys over here don't like you, they don't like blacks, they're bigots. They say stuff like that all the time. Charlie Rangel said of George W. Bush, he's our Bull Connor. Bull Connor is a southerner who sicced water hoses and dogs on black civil rights leaders. It is outrageous, nobody seems, Anderson, to have a problem with that.

COOPER: Hilary, you can respond --

ROSEN: This is something you guys did to yourself.

ELDER: I'm sorry?

ROSEN: This is something you guys did to yourself. This guy distributed this himself. This is no Democratic, you know, trick on Republicans. He has distributed this himself.

ELDER: It was -- Ms. Rosen, it was satire. And I don't think you want to go over the racist history of the Democratic Party; the party that was opposed to the 13th, the 14th, the 15th amendment, the party that founded the Klan. I'm not defending Republicans' insensitivity in the last two years. They were wrong.

ROSEN: What are you defending?

ELDER: If you want to go over the history of the party, the Democratic Party is a party, historically --

ROSEN: We're talking about whether this was politically stupid in a year where inclusion and support of African-American people is particularly significant.

ELDER: It was a joke. It was a joke.

COOPER: We're going to leave it there.

ELDER: And it was a joke on Sharpton. If anybody ought to be angry, it's Sharpton.

COOPER: Larry Elder, it was good to have you on. Hilary Rosen as well. Ed Henry as well. Thank you.

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