On Fox News Channel’s “Happening Now” on Monday, in a discussion with liberal talker Alan Colmes, syndicated conservative columnist Cal Thomas spoke out against Ben Carson’s prayer breakfast speech, where he advocated implementing conservative policies on tax policy and health care.
Host Jon Scott asked Colmes and Thomas whether CNN “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley was right to question Carson’s speech on her Sunday program.
“Candy [Crowley] was correct,” Thomas said. “Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Alan. I’ve been attending this prayer breakfast since 1971. The purpose of it, and it’s been going on for 61 years since the Eisenhower administration, is to bring people of different backgrounds, political and even religious together in the spirit of Jesus of Nazareth and bridge partisan and political divides.”
“The first half of this speech, Ben Carson, which he talked about his upbringing in Detroit, how he had overcome so many things was a role model not only for African-Americans, but for every American,” Thomas continued. “It was a wonderful story. I’ve heard him tell it before. But then he drifted off into politics, which frankly shocked a lot of people who were organizers of this event. And for the representatives of 160 nations who were there and for the many Democrats who were there not only on the dais and audience I think it came as a great shock. I had never heard the breakfast used like that for political ends before. So, I think Candy was right in asking the question.”
Thomas conceded it was inappropriate for Carson to speak out on those issues at that forum.
“Well, I think it was inappropriate. I agree with his remarks. I wouldn’t disagree with a single thing he said. It just wasn’t the right venue for doing it and in my view didn’t live up to the purpose of the breakfast.”
Colmes agreed with Thomas. But shortly thereafter on his radio show, Dennis Miller and his guest, conservative commentator Ann Coulter, author of “Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama,” shot back at Thomas, questioning his role as spokesman for conservatives:
MILLER: Do you find it maddening when guys like Cal Thomas step in — you’d think they could take a day off from it and say just, “It made sense, as somebody who is befuddled as most of us are spoke his mind.”
COULTER: Yes, many of our spokesmen get —
COULTER: — extremely frustrating. I always thought we ought to be able to vote on them at home. No, I’m sorry — this person is not speaking for conservatives right now.
MILLER: Have it turn up under their picture as they speak.
COULTER: Right, although you usually find those on MSNBC and CNN, not so much on Fox. I really do encourage people to watch [the Carson] video. There is nothing offensive about it. He is so funny and charming. And you know, just by the way at one point he was describing the bald eagle and why it’s called the bald eagle. It’s not because it looks bald. And said you know, this is the symbol of our nation and note that it has a right wing and a left wing.
MILLER: And by the way — ornithological hair plugs will be covered under Obamacare. So there won’t be any bald eagles. They’ll be comb-over eagles in the future.