“Fox & Friends” hosts denounced Oprah Winfrey on Thursday for suggesting that some of President Barack Obama’s critics are simply racist, arguing that Obama never would have been elected if racism was a relevant factor.
"There's a level of disrespect for the office that occurs in some cases and maybe even many cases because he's African American,” Oprah told BBC host Will Gompertz earlier this month. "There's no question about that. And it's the kind of thing no one ever says, but everybody's thinking it."
Co-host Brian Kilmeade accused Oprah of playing the race card to instill fear in people who are critical of the president.
“She’s one of the most accomplished Americans, period,” co-host Brian Kilmeade said Thursday morning. “She’s come over unbelievably hard times as a child to become, as even President Obama cited last night, the first African-American female billionaire in the country, has her own network, and she sees racism in the criticism of the president! Do you see this when Harry Reid called President Bush a loser? Is that respect for the office? Bill Clinton was impeached for his actions in the office! Is that racist?”
“I don’t know that Barack Obama could have been elected president if he was living in a racist nation,” co-host Steve Doocy added. “Are there racists out there? Absolutely. Is it a majority of people? No. A majority of people, according to the polls, simply don’t like his policies.”
Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck suggested that being quick to call something racist is much like the boy who cried wolf.
“And certainly throwing around a racist accusation, calling someone a racist for disagreeing when they are indeed not, would undermine racism when it does occur,” Hasselbeck said.
“This is someone as powerful as Oprah instilling fear in those who may come to critique policy under a cloak of racism when it may not be there,” she concluded.