On Fox & Friends Sunday, Ed Henry spoke with guests David Bossie, former deputy campaign manager for the Trump campaign and author of “Let Trump Be Trump”, and David Payne, Democratic strategist, to discuss the heated rhetoric on the topic of immigration. Bossie, angry over comparisons the left is making about the Trump administration to Nazis, responded with some heated rhetoric of his own that resulted in host Ed Henry apologizing.
Host Ed Henry started off the discussion by drawing viewers back to a simpler time when political rhetoric was calmer. David Bossie lamented the use of the term “Nazi” in the public square, saying it was demeaning to the world, because what happened in World War II and to the Jewish people. He pointed out that the holocaust was real. Joel Payne spoke about a simpler time when a president wasn’t courting white supremacists from the White House and cited former Fox News contributor Mike Huckabee posting a picture of gang members on Twitter.
The discussion became increasingly heated.
BOSSiE: This guy’s going to whine and cry, and it’s unbelievable. Okay? We’re done with this. You guys, you, the Democratic party are so angry and hate filled towards the border patrol agents, towards police officers, towards I.C.E. Agents. You know what? It is––we’re done with this. The American people recognize what the Democrat party has become. They’ve become Robert de Niro and Peter Fonda, and they’ve become nothing more than angry and hate filled. They hate this president more than they love this country, and it’s dangerous.
HENRY: David, you made your point. Joel, go ahead.
PAYNE: Yeah, I just love to let people watch. This is the president’s deputy campaign manager. This is the type of hate-filled screed that you saw in 2016.
BOSSIE: This is honesty.
PAYNE: By the way, this is why, by the way, Democrats are going to win this time around.
BOSSIE: Oh, please. You tried this in 2016, and you lost.
HENRY: Let Joel make his point.
PAYNE: What two years of Trumpism looks like, and it looks like Charlottesville, it looks like calling judges of Mexican descent not being able to make judicial decisions because they’re of a certain descent. It’s called attacking the Khan family. People have seen what this president’s about, they’ve seen what his agenda is —
HENRY: But, Joel, If the president said all these things he said and you don’t like his tweets, do you think two wrongs make a right and so then you’re going to double down?
PAYNE: It’s not about two wrongs making a right. You started this segment saying that progressives and Democrats on the left are attacking the president for being a racist. No, you’re just calling him out. You don’t have to be a golden retriever to hear all the dog whistles coming out of the white House these days and from my friend David here.
HENRY: Final point, David.
BOSSIE: Michael Hayden posted a picture of Auswitz.
PAYNE: That liberal Michael Hayden, that screaming liberal Michael Hayden.
BOSSIE: You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.
PAYNE: Cotton-picking mind? Brother, let me tell you something, I got some relatives who picked cotton and I’m not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that.
BOSSIE: Attack you how? You’re out of your mind. This is ridiculous, this is what’s gone on in America. This is what we’re about.
Before going to commercial break, Ed Henry thanked his guests and asked them to end the segment on a civil note before wishing them a wonderful Sunday with their families.
After the commercial break Henry attempted to clarify the situation and distance himself and Fox News from Bossie’s comment.
Bossie used a phrase that clearly offended Joel Payne and offended many others. But I want to make sure that Fox News and this show, myself, we don’t agree with that particular phrase. It was obviously offensive and these debates get fiery, that’s unfortunate. We like to have honest and spirited debates, but not phrases like that, obviously.
You can see the full segment at Mediaite. Shorter clips of Bossie’s comment are making the rounds on Twitter.
On Fox News, David Bossie, former Trump Deputy Campaign Manager, telling a black panelist that he's "out of his cotton-picking mind." pic.twitter.com/wpoqHKbINw
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) June 24, 2018
Why It Matters
When a surrogate for the Trump administration goes on TV to defend the administration against the accusation of racism and uses the term “cotton-picking” to describe his sparring partner on the panel, who happens to be black, there are only a couple options to explain such behavior. Bossie is either being purposefully offensive and employing exactly the type of dog whistle Payne was referring to or he is so obtuse that his comment was a masterpiece of tone deafness.
If the Trump administration is serious about their dismay over being accused of racism, the White House communications department might consider instructing their surrogates to not use racially charged language in interviews in which they are defending the White House against racism.
But, at least Bossie thinks the holocaust is real. Maybe the White House communications office has finally made some headway in that aspect of their messaging.