Liberals reacted to Republicans' criticism of former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice on Tuesday with a familiar tactic: accusing Republicans of racism and sexism.
Leftist pundits and commentators wasted little time before pulling the race (and sex) card on the GOP, which has criticized Rice for her contradictory statements on the unmasking of Donald Trump campaign officials in U.S. surveillance during the election. After claiming during a March 22 interview with PBS that she "knew nothing about" the unmasking of Trump campaign officials, Rice said something much different Tuesday.
“This is not uh, anything political has been alleged. The allegation is that somehow [former President Barack] Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes. That’s absolutely false," Rice told NBC's Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday.
Rice's statements were followed with widespread criticism from Republicans.
"Susan Rice is the Typhoid Mary of the Obama administration foreign policy. Every time something went wrong she seemed to turn up in the middle of it," Sen. Tom Cotton said.
And former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tweeted: "@realDonaldTrump will await apology from media now that revealed that Susan Rice unmasked names. Orange jumpsuit in her size?"
Huckabee was referring to Trump alleging in a March 4 tweet that Obama had his "wires tapped."
Amid mounting demands for Rice to explain her comments, and calls for Congress to subpoena her to testify, a number of liberals are now resorting to one of their most familiar defense tactics: playing the racism and sexism cards.
After MSNBC commentator Simon Marks said Tuesday on "Hardball" with host Chris Matthews that Republicans "looking for a pinata" "found one in Susan Rice," Matthews interjected, saying, "notice it's always a female. Just a thought."
"That's also true," Marks agreed. "But I do think she slightly played into their hand."
"I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with [the unmasking]. I think unfortunately for Rice, she's given two contradictory interviews," Marks said.
Later during the same interview, David Corn, editor-in-chief of the liberal blog Mother Jones, disputed the existence of any evidence to suggest Rice did anything improper or illegal. Corn went on to speculate that maybe Republicans are accusing her of the acts because she's a black woman.
"All we know now is that she did her job. Did she do something wrong? There is no information indicating that. So they are making her, basically, they're defaming her without any reason to do so because she's a woman. Maybe because she's a black woman," Corn said.
MSNBC isn't the only outlet suggesting Republicans are racist and sexist for criticizing Rice, though.
Jason Johnson, politics editor for the liberal website TheRoot, accused the GOP of "lashing out at any black woman they can find, whether it’s White House reporter April Ryan, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California or now, former national security adviser Susan Rice."
Liberals accused White House press secretary Sean Spicer last week of being sexist and racist for telling Ryan to stop shaking her head in a heated exchange during a White House briefing. Fox News host Bill O'Reilly was recently accused of racism and sexism for comparing Waters' hair to that of black entertainer James Brown. O'Reilly later apologized for the "dumb" comment.
"Trump-era Republicans hate and fear black women, and they’re convinced that their downfall will be at the hands of a black woman’s pen, policy or protest," Johnson wrote.
Johnson later said: "there is little doubt that as this administration continues along, it will continue to target black women through policy and the press."
(H/T: Daily Caller)