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On the June 25 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, while apparently commenting on prior remarks he made in which he called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, host Pat Robertson said that "now we've begun to see the kind of person he is and more and more people are saying to me, 'I think you were right.' " He also said that "[n]obody even knew who Hugo Chavez was" when Robertson first made his call for assassination: "They thought he was some grape picker from out in California. And all of a sudden my comments put him on the front page."
As Media Matters for America documented, Robertson first called for the assassination of Chavez on the August 22, 2005, broadcast of The 700 Club. He said, "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war." He added, "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability. We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with." Two days later, Robertson falsely claimed that he never called for the assassination of Chavez, saying that his remarks were "misinterpreted." Robertson subsequently issued a press release in which he stated, "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement." Robertson reiterated his call for Chavez's assassination on the February 2, 2006, edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, as Media Matters has also documented.
From the June 25 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club:
ROBERTSON: Well, a couple of years ago I made a comment or two about Mr. Chavez. Nobody even knew who Hugo Chavez was. They thought he was some grape picker from out in California. And all of a sudden my comments put him on the front page, and now we've begun to see the kind of person he is, and more and more people are saying to me, "I think you were right." Now he's talking about war with America. I knew this was going to happen. Before long, he's going to get atomic bombs. He's going to have missiles. He spent three billion, count them, three billion dollars acquiring arms from the Soviet Union, and you ask yourself, "What does a peaceful country at the head of South America, what do they need with three billion dollars' worth of arms?" We're not going to fight them. Are they going to take over Colombia? What's their next target? Are they trying to be the next Cuba? He is a very dangerous man. They call him "El Loco," and it's a well-deserved name.