We’ll have to see if this one makes Anderson Cooper’s “Keeping Them Honest” segment on CNN’s “AC360.”
On Cooper’s Tuesday program, Democratic strategist and Obama 2012 campaign pollster Cornell Belcher took aim at former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s response to a question from Fox News Channel’s Juan Williams during a Monday GOP presidential debate, saying it was “it was dog-whistle politics at its worst.
That drew a response from Cooper’s other guest, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, who noted that Belcher has made these charges before.
“This is the second time I’ve been on the show with Cornell,” Fleischer said. “Earlier, he said Herman Cain was a racist. Now he’s saying Newt uses these terms, as he put it. And what I hear, Anderson, is actually the opposite.”
Belcher then denied that he had ever called Cain a racist:
BELCHER: Well, you know, I agree with my friend, Ari. I wish I had the confidence. By the way, I never called Herman Cain a racist. I said –
FLEISCHER: You sure did.
BELCHER: His language was bigoted. No, I said his language was bigoted. I never called him actually a racist. I understand the difference. Because I understand. I never called him racist; I did say it was bigoted, because I do understand the difference between racism and bigotry.
However, on Cooper’s Sept. 29 program, Belcher had some strong words after Cain said, “African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded” to a conservative point of view.
At the time Belcher said it was “a racist, bigoted statement” and suggested that Cain be “treated like a racist and bigoted person who makes those racist and bigoted statements.”
Watch Belcher call Cain ‘racist’: