Hume accused Williams of describing Republican base as "Southern cracker[s]"

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During the May 21 broadcast of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, Fox News Washington managing editor Brit Hume baselessly accused Juan Williams, a senior correspondent for National Public Radio and a contributing political analyst at Fox News, of calling the Republican base "Southern cracker[s]." Williams stated that a number of current immigration reform proposals -- deploying National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, constructing a fence along much of the border, and making English the exclusive official language of the United States -- are "all to appease ... a white, Southern, somewhat Western, rural and suburban base in the Republican Party, on the right wing of the party, that seems to me fearful of this new wave of people coming into the country." Moments later, Hume retorted: "I'd like to introduce you some day, Juan, to [Rep.] Peter King of New York, who is one of the leading Republican hawks on the immigration issue. I don't think he quite meets your test of being a Southern cracker."

From the May 21 broadcast of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:

WILLIAMS: But what I see in terms of the politics, it's just really interesting to me, is that all of the debate in the Senate this week is about border -- putting the National Guard on the border, about fences, English only -- it's all to appease, and I think appease is the right word, a white, Southern, somewhat Western, rural and suburban base in the Republican Party, on the right wing of the party, that seems to me fearful of this new wave of people coming into the country.

So, it seems to me like these people in the Senate, and especially in the House, are sort of reacting to nativists or people who are afraid they're losing their America, worried about people speaking English at the 7-Eleven as opposed to thinking about the future, not only the future of the country, but the future of the Republican Party.

I think you're alienating future Latino voters, who were once, you know -- what? Forty percent voted for Bush last time? I don't think you're ever going to see that again for a Republican president.

WALLACE: Is it appeasement, Brit?

HUME: Well, obviously, you're trying to win over some of the immigration hard-liners, but as [NPR national political correspondent] Mara [Liasson] was suggesting earlier, you're not going to win over the hardest of the hard-liners. And I'd like to introduce you some day, Juan, to Peter King of New York, who is one of the leading Republican hawks on the immigration issue. I don't think he quite meets your test of being a Southern cracker who is opposed --

WILLIAMS: I didn't say that. I didn't say that. I said suburban. Peter King is very suburban.

HUME: I see. All right.

Posted In
Immigration
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, FOX Broadcasting Company
Person
Brit Hume
Show/Publication
FOX News Sunday
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