Sarah Palin admitted Monday night that she never actually read the GQ interview that surfaced anti-gay, racist comments made by the star of “Duck Dynasty,” which she staunchly defended last week as “free speech.”
Fox News host Greta Van Susteren asked Palin if she took issue with the manner in which “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson made his comments, which Van Susteren characterized as “graphic” and “offensive,” even if she agreed with the substance of what Robertson said.
“I haven’t read the article. I don’t know exactly how he said it,” Palin responded. “But what he was doing was in response to a question about a lifestyle he disagrees with, and yet he has said over and over again he doesn’t hate the person engaging in a lifestyle he disagrees with.”
The substance of Robertson’s comments was that homosexuality is a sin — one he equated with “bestiality.” “Don’t be deceived,” Robertson told GQ, paraphrasing the Bible. “Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
According to Palin’s reasoning, she didn’t have to read the interview to defend Robertson in the first place because the substance of his comments didn’t matter. He was invoking the Bible, she said, so his critics are actually taking issue with Scripture itself.
“In response, he was quoting the Gospel,” she told Van Susteren. “So people who are so insulted and offended by what he said evidently are offended by what he was quoting in the Gospel.”
Watch the interview below, courtesy of Fox News:
This post has been updated.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.