MSNBC – the place for birtherism? Even MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan is beginning to think so.
During a segment on Cenk Uygur’s Tuesday MSNBC show, Buchanan said he doesn’t buy into the whole “Obama wasn’t born in the United States” conspiracy theory. However, he wanted to know why President Barack Obama hasn’t taken care of the issue in a satisfactory way.
“I don’t think the Republican Party is a monolith at all,” Buchanan explained. “I tend to agree with what Mitt Romney said when he said, ‘I believe Barack Obama was born in Honolulu.’ I believe in the newspapers are probably dead-accurate on that. But at the same time, I do agree with Donald Trump when he said, ‘Why is Barack Obama toying with the American people? Why doesn’t he just produce this and end this controversy?’ I think it shows a real arrogance of power and secondly, I will say this, why does not the White House press corps really push the press secretary and say, ‘Look, end this controversy, produce it and get it over with?’”
Liberal radio host Bill Press contended that there were more important issues for the White House press corps to focus on, especially since the president had already put the issue to rest. Press contended the question had been asked but Buchanan said it continues to be a distraction, especially on MSNBC.
“Tell me, Bill, you say to Jay Carney, ‘Jay why doesn’t the president just release the birth certificate? Get this over it with? It is an enormous distraction for the country? MSNBC is transfixed with it. They ought to focus on the issues you talked about – Libya and Iraq. Please, Jay ask the president to release his birth certificate for us?”
Press alluded to a 2009 question he asked during a White House press briefing about the issue, which then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called it “made-up nonsense” and that prompted Press to say it was a dead issue from that point forward. Uygur added all the attention to the birther issue could cost his party the 2012 election. But Buchanan questioned that statement, since MSNBC is repeatedly having him on to discuss it.
“Well, first, I’m not running in the general election,” Buchanan said. “Second, I’m wasting my time because you invited me on here to talk about the birther issue.”
And Buchanan added, he had never taken on the issue on his own, but only because MSNBC asked him to.
“But look, you know, let me just say, look, Cenk – the issue of the birthers, back before the election I got e-mails on the stuff,” he said. “You get them, thanks, read them, drop them off, never raise it had. I have never written a column on it but I have been invited here hundreds of times to talk about the issue. Now first you got the birthers who love the issue, then MSNBC loves the issue and the Donald, loves the issue, and everybody seems to be having a nice time, want to close to it by asking the president, ‘Please, Mr. President get your birth certificate and let us see it.’”
Press and Uygur suggest the Republican Party elders should intervene and tell their candidates to put the birther issue to rest, as conservatives like George Will and Charles Krauthammer have suggested with their dismissiveness about a Trump candidacy. But Buchanan explained that’s not how the Republican Party functions.
“Let me just make one more point here,” Buchanan said. “Look, Bill talks about the Republican Party as though it’s a monolith or the elite of the Republican Party is going to put down a directive that nobody can talk about this or that. We don’t want that. We want a robust debate. Frankly, I’d love Ron Paul in there with his views on foreign policy. I’d love to see Sarah Palin with her views on right-to-life and social conservative. I got no problem with Donald Trump. If he wants to raise that issue or any issue, let the voters decide, for heaven’s sake, instead of the party. Here’s what you must do and Karl Rove telling us the positions we must take – I don’t care what it is.”