A top spokesman for the Republican National Committee got heated during an interview Friday on CNN, saying Republicans have been unfairly linked to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his racist remarks.
RNC communications director Sean Spicer denounced the comments from the rancher who became something of a conservative hero earlier this month during a standoff with the federal government over gazing fees. Bundy's star came crashing down on Thursday after the New York Times published quotes in which he wondered aloud whether blacks would be better off as slaves.
But Spicer also used the opportunity to criticize the media for injecting GOP politics into the story. He did not acknowledge, however, that several high profile Republicans, including possible 2016 presidential contenders, had praised the rancher before the racist comments became public.
"I think the comments that Mr. Bundy made with respect to race and other things were inappropriate and wrong, 100 percent out of line and not part of the discourse we need to have," Spicer said. "But that being said, what I find fascinating as the chief spokesman for the Republican Party is that when a guy has a problem with cattle grazing and has a discussion about the size of the federal government and the overreach of the federal government, makes a comment every reporter calls the Republican National Committee asking for comment."
Spicer went on to accuse the media of ignoring incidents that involved Democratic politics.
"When similar incidents happen time and time again on the left," he said, "there is zero coverage. Absolutely zero."
Spicer said there had barely been any coverage of the fact that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's (D) campaign had tweeted a Chicago Sun-Times column that some found offensive. The column compared blacks who supported a GOP gubernatorial candidate to Jews who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.
"A sitting Democratic governor does anti-semitic comments that were offensive to Republicans and blacks and there was no coverage," Spicer said. "So while I am willing to call out time and time again anyone who uses inappropriate language and the RNC has frankly gotten made — time and time again we are asked for student council elections to county officials to other officials when similar incidents happen on the left there is zero coverage."
Spicer stressed again and again that the GOP was being too closely linked with Bundy and his comments.
"The issue with Cliven Bundy has absolutely nothing to do with his party, zero," Spicer said. "He is a Nevada rancher that had a beef with the federal government's continued overreach and suddenly this became a question when he made some inappropriate comments about what every Republican needs to answer for. That's absolutely ridiculous."
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(Photo credit: Youtube)
This post was updated.