Fox News host Bill O’Reilly backed Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) disputed comments on a culture of “inner city” men not working on Tuesday night, arguing “race hustlers” would have branded the congressman a racist no matter what he said about poverty.
O’Reilly pressed Ryan on a conversation he had with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who labelled his remarks a “thinly veiled racial attack,” and asked if Lee apologized after Ryan clarified that the comments were inarticulate.
“She does not believe that I have these views,” Ryan said. “She knows me well, and she knows that I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”
“Then why did she imply you did?” O’Reilly asked.
“You’ll have to ask Barbara that,” Ryan responded.
The Fox host continued to press him on Lee’s response.
“Are you mad at her?” O’Reilly asked. “I would be.”
“I’m a big boy. I understand that if you challenge the status quo, that if you get into these issues, sometimes you’ll be misinterpreted,” Ryan responded. “But also I really believe we have to have a real conversation about how to fix these things without throwing these charges around.”
That was O’Reilly’s cue to inveigh against the “race hustlers.”
“These race hustlers make a big living and they get voted into office by portraying their constituents as victims,” he said. “And it’s all your fault, and it’s my fault, it’s the rich people’s fault, it’s the Republicans’ fault. It’s everybody’s fault except what’s going on.”
“What’s going on, as you know, is a dissolution of the family and you don’t have proper supervision of children,” he continued. “And they grow up with no skills and they can’t read and speak … and that’s what’s going on. But if you say that, you’re a racist. So no matter what you say, Congressman, you’re going to be branded because the race hustlers don’t want to solve the problem.”
Watch below, courtesy of Fox News: