Fox News host Bill O’Reilly attempted to defend Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) heavily-derided comments regarding men in the “inner cities” on Tuesday, seemingly referring to a California lawmaker as a “race hustler” in the process.
“With all due respect to you, because I think you’re a good man, they don’t want a conversation,” O’Reilly said, referring to Ryan’s critics. “They don’t want to solve the problem. These race hustlers make a big living, and they get voted into office, by portraying their constituents as victims.”
O’Reilly pursued his line of thought after pressing Ryan regarding a recent conversation with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who accused Ryan of leveling a “thinly-veiled racist attack” against the Black community during a radio interview in which Ryan referred to a “tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working, and just generations of men not even thinking about working and learning the value and culture of work.”
“How did she respond?” O’Reilly asked.
“She does not believe that I have [racist] views,” Ryan said. “She knows me well. She knows I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”
“Then why did she say you did?” O’Reilly pressed. “Then why did she imply you did?”
“You’d have to ask Barbara that,” Ryan responded.
“Did you ask her?” O’Reilly asked.
“I made it clear that what I said had nothing to do with race,” Ryan said, before O’Reilly cut in.
“Are you mad at her?” the host asked. “I would be.”
“I’m a big boy,” Ryan said. “I understand that, if you challenge the status quo, that if you get into these issues, sometimes you’ll be misinterpreted.”
Neither O’Reilly nor Ryan mentioned on Tuesday that Ryan has cited the work of Charles Murray, a white nationalist in promoting his “property trap” ideas.
Watch the interview, as posted by Crooks And Liars on Tuesday, below.