Kansas Republican lawmaker Tim Huelskamp took MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to task during a post-State of the Union interview on Benghazi secrecy, noting that if Maddow “would stop being a cheerleader and be a journalist, you’d recognize we’re not getting those answers.”
Huelskamp spoke with Maddow about an hour after President Barack Obama wrapped up his State of the Union address Tuesday night, with the MSNBC reporter taking the congressman to task for anti-Obama tweets she deemed offensive and inaccurate.
She zeroed in on one tweet, suggesting that President Obama was deliberately ignoring the ongoing Benghazi controversy, asking the lawmaker if he voted to cut State Department security at any point.
“Don’t forget, the fact of the matter is Hillary Clinton did not request security enhancements,” Huelskamp responded. “And we do believe that this administration let our troops down and let this diplomat down.
“We need more answers there,” he continued. “We need answers about a lot of things. This administration promised to be the most transparent in history, Rachel. And I think if you would stop being a cheerleader and be a journalist, you’d recognize we’re not getting those answers.”
Maddow, always eager to pounce on the slightest hint of Republican sexism, imaginary or not, was furious:
MADDOW: Did you just call me a cheerleader?
HUELSKAMP: Uh, I dunno. Maybe you have that history. I’m saying look at the facts —
MADDOW: No, wait, wait, wait. No, hold on, hold on, hold on. Did you —
HUELSKAMP: I’m saying–
MADDOW: Hold on!
HUELSKAMP: — you’re a cheerleader for the administration —
MADDOW: Ok, so I’m a cheerleader?
HUELSKAMP: — you’re not being a journalist when you’re not willing to look at the facts! If it was Bush you would be jumping and screaming —
MADDOW: You’re amazing.
HUELSKAMP: — but because it’s Hillary Clinton, you don’t want the answers, Rachel. Face the facts! We don’t know the answers there.
The two then got into a contentious debate over whether Obama’s promise to take executive action without Congress — along with unilateral changes already made to Obamacare — constitute “lawlessness,” with Maddow suggesting Huelskamp’s comment come from another universe.
“It’s the universe of reality, Rachel,” he retorted. “The universe of outside this Beltway. The president’s speech fell flat in the real world.”
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