Skip to comments.Maxine Waters Defends Ex-Klansman, Attacks GOP'er as Racist
Posted on 05/09/2003 12:38:43 PM PDT by mware
Maxine Waters Defends Ex-Klansman, Attacks GOP'er as Racist
Firebreathing California Congresswoman Maxine Waters angrily defended former Ku Klux Klansman Sen. Robert Byrd this week, saying that the one-time member of the cross burning, night-riding anti-black terror group was no more racist than her House colleague, Republican moderate Peter King.
"Unfortunately we do have racism in the backgrounds of many members of Congress, past and present. And [King is] one of them," Waters complained Wednesday on MSNBC's "News with Brian Williams," as a stunned King looked on.
"Wait, wait, Maxine. Whoa, whoa, Maxine. Let's end that right there," King shot back. "Senator Byrd and the Klu Klux--don't call me a racist, Maxine."
The verbal donnybrook erupted after King said that Sen. Byrd's Klan background undermined the credibility of his complaints about President Bush's appearance on the flight deck of the USS Lincoln last week.
"If they're going to rely on someone like Senator Byrd as their spokesman," King taunted, "a man who, years ago, with his racist background, gave up any right to be a moral arbiter of anything - then bring it on."
The barb sent Waters into a full-fledged meltdown, with the radical Democrat charging hysterically that the former Grand Kleagle's credentials on race were no worse than King's.
"I said you're guilty of some racism also," the California Democrat repeated, as King fumed.
"You come over there with Robert Byrd, I will stand with President Bush," he told Waters.
King told substitute anchorman John Seigenthaler that Waters' racism charge was "absolutely disgraceful."
"Just when I thought the Democrats couldn't go lower, they just did," he added. "You can bring out anything out about me. My record is--is clear and clean."
The full exchange went like this:
KING: Let me tell you, as a Republican, I almost welcome this. This is handing us an issue, because the Democrats make themselves look so small and petty. And if they're going to rely on someone like Senator Byrd as their spokesman, a man who, years ago, with his racist background gave up any right to be a moral arbiter of anything, then bring it on.
But you know, this shouldn't be about politics. This was a war that was won, the American people have a right to be proud of the armed forces, the president was out there. If anyone says that the president had some custom-fitted suit, I remember any time--any number of times where Bill Clinton would appear with troops with bomber jackets with his name on it, "commander in chief." I didn't begrudge him that. He was entitled to do that. And the president is a trained military pilot. So he had every right to be there. I think as an American, I'm proud that he was there. Whether he was a Democrat or Republican, no matter who the president was, I think all of us as Americans should be proud and not be petty begrudgers the way the Democrats are being today.
SEIGENTHALER: Well, what about this, Congresswoman Walters? I mean, President Clinton made appearances before troops before. He had a flight jacket on.
WATERS: Well, let me just say this. First of all, Peter King said something about racism in the background of Senator Byrd. And unfortunately we do have racism in the backgrounds of many members of Congress, past and present. And he's one of them. So let's take that off the table.
KING: Who is? I am? I am?
WATERS: Oh, yes, you are. And let's take that off...
KING: Wait, wait, Maxine. Whoa, whoa, Maxine. Let's end that right there.
WATERS: Take that off the table as an issue. Let me just say we are talking...
KING: Senator Byrd and the Klu Klux--don't call me a racist, Maxine.
WATERS: We are talking--yes, I did. We are talking about...
WATERS: ...what this president did. Now, we have just come out of a crisis created by this president. Don't forget, he told us he was going to Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction. He told us he was going there because we were in imminent danger from this dictator. We've not found any weapons of mass destruction. All we have is an invasion where millions of people--maybe, well, thousands of civilians have been killed, over 125 service people have been killed, Americans have been killed. The country has been looted and robbed of its arts and artifacts, and this president then gloats and flies in, a tailhook landing on the USS Abraham in a custom-fitted suit? I think it's an embarrassment.
SEIGENTHALER: Con--Congressman King, let me let you respond to that.
KING: Well, first of all, Maxine Waters has said something about me being a racist. That is absolutely disgraceful. And just when I thought the Democrats couldn't go lower, they just did. Robert Byrd belong...
WATERS: You went lower when you called--when you tried to inject racism into this argument.
KING: I never injected racism into any--I--I didn't belong...
WATERS: We were not talking about racism...
KING: Maxine, I...
WATERS: ...we were talking about the president of the United States.
SEIGENTHALER: Well, let me let--let me let Congressman King...
WATERS: You injected racism.
SEIGENTHALER: Let me let Congressman King respond if I can, Congressman Walters.
WATERS: If you don't want to talk about it, don't inject it. Don't inject, if you don't want to talk about it.
SEIGENTHALER: Well, let him--let's let him respond if we can.
KING: I didn't say a word about Maxine Waters. I said--John asked what I thought of Robert Byrd making a moral opinion. I'm saying as far as I'm concerned because of his background, he lost any right to be making moral judgments on anyone. As far as the president...
WATERS: You said racist background.
KING: Exactly. He was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. I consider the Klan...
WATERS: And I said you're guilty of some racism also.
KING: And I have absolutely--I have--I have never been a racist. I don't--maybe you--I think your problem is maybe you ascribe your sins to others and that's your problem.
KING: You come over there with Robert Byrd, I will stand with President Bush...
KING: ...the president of the United States. I'm proud that he's my commander in chief.
WATERS: I stand on the truth.
KING: You can be proud of Robert Byrd. And I'm delighted and proud that we had a...
WATERS: See, there you go putting words in people's mouth.
KING: ...that we had a president of the United States...
WATERS: That's what wrong with you, you're a spin artist, that's what's wrong with you.
KING: ...that--the fact is--no. I'm a--I'm a--I'm a proud American. I'm proud of having a president who led us through a war which the majority of Dem...
WATERS: Don't forget, I know something about what you have done. I know how you used my pictures and used me in your campaign. Yeah, you're guilty of racism.
KING: You--you can bring out anything out about me. My record is--is clear and clean.
WATERS: I know who you are.
KING: Absolutely, Maxine.
WATERS: I know very well who you are. [End of Excerpt]
No, wait . . . I take that back . . . I read the book and not even an Uncle Tom would stoop so low as to defend a Grand Kleagle. She's a thousand times worse than Uncle Tom.
30-40 years from now, decent black folks will look back on this shameful incident in amazement. Imagine it! The spectacle of a so-called civil rights leader DEFENDING a Klansman merely to protect her own power base.
I am surprised that this is not bigger news. According to the article it happen on Wednesday.
Is she from Ithaca?