In 2003, CNBC host Lawrence Kudlow, host of CNBC's Kudlow & Company, advocated removing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez from power using "300 of the best Special Ops forces we have." As a panelist on MSNBC's Hardball, Kudlow made the suggestion in response to a question from host Chris Matthews regarding strategies to reduce the high price of oil. Kudlow called Chavez a "Castro-ite" in reference to his ties with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
On August 22, Media Matters for America documented comments by Christian Coalition of America founder and 700 Club host Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of Chavez.
From the Februrary 26, 2003, edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, on which Kudlow was a panelist:
MATTHEWS: Let me start the proposition. Let's stipulate here this may be the first time that the United States and Europe agree on anything. We both agree it's too cold. But what do we do about the high price of heating oil? You next, Lawrence.
KUDLOW: There's nothing you can do about it except take 300 of the best Special Ops forces we have, go down to Venezuela, and get rid of that Castro-ite, Hugo Chavez. That's the only thing you can do. The weather is an act of God, and Iraq's going to be over in a couple of weeks, so you've just got to have some patience there.
MATTHEWS: But you're considering [kidding?*] about regime change in Caracas, I hope.
KUDLOW: I am not kidding. He's a bad guy. He's a Castro-ite. He is trying to change that whole continent, and he's getting -- you know what --
MATTHEWS: How many governments do you have on your list that we have to effect a regime change in?
KUDLOW: Well, how --
MATTHEWS: Let's start with Iraq and now Caracas and Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Libya.
KUDLOW: How much time you got? How much time --