During a discussion about negative campaign ads, on the 1 p.m. ET hour of the November 2 edition of MSNBC's special Decision 2006: Battleground America, conservative talk show host and former Rep. Bob Dornan (R-CA) accused House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) of making a "racist statement" in favor of abortion rights, when she purportedly asked him during a vote on the House floor: "[W]hat would you do if your daughter was raped by a black man?" Dornan's accusation, which was noted by the weblog Campus Progress, came during a discussion with radio host Joe Madison, who is an African-American. MSNBC anchor Amy Robach failed to challenge Dornan's accusation, stating only: "And now we end on the tone of -- certainly the way a lot of voters are viewing this election -- there is a lot of partisanship."
As Media Matters for America has noted, conservative media figures and Republican officials have recently lashed out at Pelosi, including taking "a cheap shot" at an alleged "facelift," claiming Pelosi would make "the best mask" for Halloween because of "years and years of plastic surgery," and declaring that Pelosi is a "nimrod" who is "intellectually ... not up to the task" of assuming the position of House speaker.
From the 1 p.m. ET hour of the November 2 edition of MSNBC's Decision 2006: Battleground America:
MADISON: Bob, you're about three votes or four votes short.
DORNAN: Joe, I'll tell you, Nancy Pelosi said to me once during a pro-life vote. I said, "Nancy, how can you, as a Catholic, you have the same number of daughters and sons -- we each have five -- how can you vote for abortion, taking that innocent life?" You know what she said? Brace yourself, Joe. I'll take an oath on this. She said, "Bob, what would you do if your daughter was raped by a black man?" I said, "Nancy, what a racist statement?"
MADISON: Oh, come on that's a pretty -- Wait a minute. That's a pretty -- Well, because, because, again, there's hypocrisy.
MADISON: But that question -- wait a minute -- that question was put to Dan Quayle. And then all of a sudden, he changed his attitude. So that's a legitimate question.
DORNAN: No, without the "black" adjective. I said to Nancy --
MADISON: But what does that have to do with negative ads? I mean, what are you doing? You just brought up a wedge issue, and that's why you guys are going to be shown the door.
ROBACH: See, we started out nice, everybody was in agreement.
DORNAN: No, Nancy is measuring the drapes and look at her attitude.
ROBACH: And now we're gonna end on the tone of -- certainly the way a lot of voters are viewing this election -- there is a lot of partisanship. We'll see what happens. Bob Dornan, Joe Madison, thanks so much for your time. We appreciate it.