During the Florida primary coverage last night on MSNBC, Rev. Al Sharpton and Rick Tyler, a strategist for the Gingrich-backing super-PAC, Winning Our Future, entered into a heated exchange that covered topics from food stamps to black role models to the president singing.
Al Sharpton: That’s not what Newt Gingrich said. He brought race up in this campaign.
Rick Tyler: Tell me when he did, Al.
Al Sharpton: I’m getting ready to tell you, he said, and I’m quoting here, that he would go to the NAACP and tell black people to stop being satisfied with food stamps, he didn’t say people on food stamps, he said black people. Don’t be satisfied with food stamps, they should demand jobs. Black people in communities, youngsters don’t have role models. This is not what he said when he went on the tour that president Obama asked him to go on. He’s brought race in the campaign by name. You cannot then turn around and act like Rachel or I’m bringing up racism. Wait and minute, I’m going to let you finish, but I want to finish this part. He brought up race, now you have to answer. If he didn’t want to deal with race, why did he bring up race. It is a patent untruth that president Obama has more people on food stamps — more people went on food stamps under George W. Bush than president Obama. Would you call him a food stamp president?
Rick Tyler: We’re not running against George W. Bush, we’re running against Barack Obama.
Al Sharpton: If more people went on food stamps under George W. Bush, you just said that Obama had more, that is factually incorrect.
Rick Tyler: 98 percent of African- Americans vote democrat, okay? What have they gotten for it, poor schools, poor neighborhoods, crime ridden neighborhoods, a destruction of the family, and the democrats want to abort their babies. That’s their position, I’m not going to defend that.
Al Sharpton: People vote democrat — black people vote democrat because the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act and many of the members of congress –were the Abe Lincoln party and the party of Little Rock, we voted republican like anybody else in America, sir. We vote our interests. Republican or not. Why would we vote for people that call our parents criminals, that says that you can’t even admit you’re wrong on the facts of food stamps, we’re not sadists or Masochists.
Rick Tyler: I haven’t said the republican party has done a good job of reaching out to African- Americans. I think Newt Gingrich is trying to reach out to African-Americans, there’s an upset. There are better schools, there’s a way to prosperity, a way to earn a paycheck. There’s a way to get ahead in life, and it doesn’t mean depending on the democratic party for hand outs. He’s brought it in to appeal to African- Americans, that they might vote for a different way, that republicans may have good intentions, just like democrats do, but your policies fail, and our policies work.