Rick Tyler repping Gingrich: “Newt’s Not Racist! I’ll Show You Racist!”

Last night, Floridians declared Romney the least hated of the GOP candidates (despite pro-Gingrich robo calls saying that Mitt had forced holocaust survivors to eat pork when he was Governor of Massachusetts). Romney got 46.4% of the vote, beating out the even less popular candidates Newt Gingrich (31.9%), Rick Santorum (13.4%) and  Ron Paul  (7.0%).

But Newt stole the show, when he delivered a delusionally confident speech that made it sound like he had won a national election and not lost a primary. As if that wasn’t enough, after the results came in, Rick Tyler, Newt’s surrogate and the director of his SuperPAC  was similarly delusional and out of touch when he masterfully rejected claims that Gingrich was racist by delivering a racist rant of his own.

When Rachel Maddow raised Gingrich’s racist language and race-bating, Tyler denied it, arguing that black people should be voting for Newt Gingrich and not for democrats, who have failed them by, among other things, aborting their babies:

“I don’t get it! The Democrats have failed in the public schools with African Americans. They abort their babies, they’ve done nothing to lift them out of poverty.”

In all fairness, at least Tyler is right that he doesn’t get it. But boy, does the Newt surrogate know how to sweet talk people. If this argument– black people, stop being stupid and vote for us– doesn’t get the black vote, I don’t know what will. Al Sharpton was dead on when he asked Tyler “Why would we vote for people that call our parents criminals?… We’re not…masochists.”

So what was Tyler doing? There are a couple of possibilities. He could have been trying to act as Newt’s foil, hoping that when compared to his vitriol, Gingrich would come off as less racist. Or perhaps he was just demonstrating the very racism Maddow was accusing the campaign of, since it is always better to show than tell.

But I have some constructive criticism for Tyler. When being racist, you want to be consistent. Gingrich’s campaign is based on the premise that black people have LOTS of kids, who lack role models, don’t know what hard work is, and prefer food stamps over pay checks. That is inconsistent with the claim that black people abort all their babies. Pushing mutually exclusive racist lies isn’t very convincing. Either way, of course, you’re lying, though that’s nothing new for Gingrich and his supporters.

But you don’t want to make your inconsistency and dishonesty so apparent, because now all you’re left with is naked and exposed racism, as opposed to very thinly veiled racism.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.


Born and raised on the mean streets of New York City’s Upper West Side, Katie Halper is a comic, writer, blogger, satirist and filmmaker based in New York. Katie graduated from The Dalton School (where she teaches history) and Wesleyan University (where she learned that labels are for jars.) A director of Living Liberally and co-founder/performer in Laughing Liberally, Katie has performed at Town Hall, Symphony Space, The Culture Project, D.C. Comedy Festival, all five Netroots Nations, and The Nation Magazine Cruise, where she made Howard Dean laugh! and has appeared with Lizz Winstead, Markos Moulitsas, The Yes Men, Cynthia Nixon and Jim Hightower. Her writing and videos have appeared in The New York Times, Comedy Central, The Nation Magazine, Gawker, Nerve, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, Alternet and Katie has been featured in/on NY Magazine, LA Times, In These Times, Gawker,Jezebel, MSNBC, Air America, GritTV, the Alan Colmes Show, Sirius radio (which hung up on her once) and the National Review, which called Katie “cute and some what brainy.” Katie co-produced Tim Robbins’s film Embedded, (Venice Film Festival, Sundance Channel); Estela Bravo’s Free to Fly (Havana Film Festival, LA Latino Film Festival); was outreach director for The Take, Naomi Klein/Avi Lewis documentary about Argentine workers (Toronto & Venice Film Festivals, Film Forum); co-directed New Yorkers Remember the Spanish Civil War, a video for Museum of the City of NY exhibit, and wrote/directed viral satiric videos including Jews/ Women/ Gays for McCain.

Katie is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and New Yorker.

Read more about Katie

Join the Conversation