After shouting down Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus Monday morning, an emboldened Chris Matthews thought it would be a good idea to go toe-to-toe with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on the topic of the GOP’s supposed use of racial “dog whistles.”
“What’s a ‘food stamp president’?” Matthews asked, referring to a term he has deemed racist.
“A ‘food stamp president’ is the guy whose policies are so destructive, that he creates the longest unemployment since the Great Depression and he puts more people on food stamps — most of them white — than anybody else,” the former speaker responded.
“Why do you assume food stamp refers to blacks?” Gingrich added, turning the tables on the MSNBC host. “What kind of racist thinking do you have? You’re being a racist because you assume they’re black!”
“Let me tell you why. Because from the beginning,” Matthews responded, “paying attention to politics, Ronald Reagan would talk about the ‘Welfare Queen,’ who’s African-America. He’d talk about the ‘young buck’ — ”
“He didn’t say that,” Gingrich said in reference to Matthews’ assertion that Reagan said the “Welfare Queen” was an African-American.
“Yes he did. He talked about the ‘Welfare Queen’ out in Chicago,” Mathews responded.
“Who was African-American?”
“I don’t believe [Ronald Reagan] ever used the term [African-American].”
“He didn’t have to.”
For anyone who’s ever seen Gingrich engage in a heated debate, you can probably guess how this one ends.
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(H/T: BuzzFeed). This story has been updated.