Roger Kimball: America is less racist than it has ever been

This is a rush transcript from "Tucker Carlson Tonight," July 17, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Good evening and welcome to “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” The President is speaking to supporters in Greenville, North Carolina. We will be taking portions of it live, especially the newsworthy moments. Right now, he is talking about the four radical freshman Democrats, Antifa, and more broadly, the direction the Democrats are moving. We are going to go back and listen in. It's interesting. We will back in a moment.


CARLSON: The President speaking in Greenville, North Carolina. So for the past four days, as you well know, he has been embroiled in a remarkably nasty, and yet at times amusing Twitter battle with the foremost left-wing Democrats in the House of Representatives. That would be Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib.

Now, Democrats and their servants in the media have told us that it is inherently racist to criticize these politicians given the way they look. The President clearly disagrees with that. We know because he has been attacking them still, just tonight in his speech in Greenville.

Now, a year ago, these four women were almost completely unknown. Today, they define the Democratic Party. Their rise tells you a lot about where the left is heading. Individually, each of the four members is weak, unaccomplished, uninformed, deeply unimpressive; and yet together as a group, they are strong. Their power derives from a single word, "racist."

They deploy that word as a weapon at the first line of resistance every time. Anyone who stands in their way is by definition a racist -- literally anyone, even the leader of their party.

Watch Rashida Tlaib explain to Gayle King of CBS that Nancy Pelosi is a racist. Why? Because Nancy Pelosi doesn't agree with everything Rashida Tlaib thinks. Watch.


REP. RASHIDA TLAIB, D-MICH.: She is speaker of the House. She can ask for a meeting, to sit down with us for clarification. The fact of the knowledge is -- and I've done racial justice work in our country for a long time -- acknowledge the fact that we are women of color. So when you do single us out, be aware of that and what you're doing. Especially because some of us are getting death threats. Because some of us are being singled out in many ways because of our backgrounds, because of our experiences and so forth.


CARLSON: "You can't criticize me because of my skin color." That's what Tlaib is saying. Tlaib goes on to say -- did you catch this? That she is qualified to call Pelosi a racist because she herself has spent so many years doing quote, "racial justice work."

Wait a second, what exactly is racial justice work? Is that a job? Can you get paid for racial justice work? Is there a racial justice union? Or racial justice workers? It might be interesting to know. Gayle King never asked of course. It sounds totally legitimate to her.

But the point is, and in fact the real headline here is Rashida Tlaib has been working this scam for a long time. Bullying people on the basis of their skin color to accrue more power. That's her game and she will keep doing it until it stops working.

There's no sign of that yet though, so in the meantime, neither she nor her equally-entitled friends have any plans to slow down or apologize for anything they do or have done.

Ilhan Omar, for example, has accused Israel of quote, "hypnotizing the planet." She called it an evil country.

As we continue to monitor the Trump rally for news, listen to her explain that she has no regrets for that. Watch.


REP. ILHAN OMAR, D-MINN.: Often times, there are things that you might say, might not hold weight for you, but to someone else, right? The way that we hear and consume information is very different than how the next person might.

GAYLE KING, CBS HOST: So, you don't regret your words either?

OMAR: I do not.


CARLSON: "You don't regret your words." It's kind of a stupid question, actually, when you think about it. Why would Ilhan Omar have any regrets? She doesn't believe her critics are legitimate. They are racist by definition because they've criticized her.

Rashida Tlaib has reached the same conclusion. Shortly after winning office, she completely lost control of herself as she was ranting about the president. She screamed that she wanted to quote, "impeach the mother effer." Who talks like that? She does, she says, proudly.


TLAIB: From day one, I truly believed that he has committed impeachable offenses and you know --

KING: But even if you believe that, the fact that you called him --

TLAIB: Even me cursing -- but I didn't do it on the House floor and i'm going to be unapologetic in myself. Seventy percent of Americans curse. I'm real. This is who I am. I am rooted in where I come from and it's very common for me and for many of my residents to say things like that, but for folks --

KING: So you don't regret that?

TLAIB: Absolutely not.


CARLSON: Got that? She swears a lot. That means she is authentic. How old are these people? They are children. Ayanna Pressley, by the way, is young enough that she still engages in make-believe. Pressley has decided that despite the evidence to the contrary, Donald Trump actually isn't the President.


REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY, D-MASS.: The occupant of this White House -- and I call him that not because I don't have respect for the Oval Office. It's not because I have --

KING: But it's not like you don't have respect for the Oval Office when you call the President of the United States the occupant.

PRESSLEY: No, because he is only occupying space. He does not embody the principles, the responsibility, the grace, the integrity of a true President.


CARLSON: You're watching the face of the new Democratic Party. Four of the most annoying, least-impressive people in the entire country, entitled, overgrown children, throwing an endless series of temper tantrums. You literally wouldn't have dinner with these people on a dare. They are awful.

Even most Democrats think they are awful, but they are in charge now, why? Because in the new woke Democratic Party, race trumps everything. The old party was the party of equality and the working class. The new party is the party of race baiting.

The sad point is that America is actually less racist than it's ever been, but it's also a lot more afraid than it has ever been. People are terrified and demagogues like Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar leverage that fear and that terror to win power.

So far it's working for them. The question is, can it bring them across the finish line in an election? Do most Americans really hate their country? Do most Americans think other Americans are mostly racist? They're betting on it. We are about to find out.

Dana Perino hosts "The Daily Briefing" with Dana Perino and she joins us tonight. Dana, thanks a lot for coming on. So, it's hard to see the bigger picture in the middle of one of these tweet battles, but who is winning, would you say?

DANA PERINO, HOST: We are in -- at the end of day four of a tweet battle.


PERINO: But of course it's not just about the tweets, right? It is about some underlying differences of interest, morals, and values. And the sad thing is -- you know, I get a daily devotional every morning and one of the things that the pastor reminded us today, is that you should try -- in all of your acts, try to bring people together. and you know me, like I am always like -- like on "The Five," like, "Oh, no, actually, we all get along and you see, we really agree and let's try to figure it out."

That is not happening right now by any strides, but let me tell you somebody who agrees with you about the concern. I don't know if you saw this today. In "The New York Times" on the editorial page, the columnist, Thomas Friedman had a whole column basically - practically begging "the squad" to stop, saying the revolution is not going to happen in 2020 and that the questions that he gets most now from people he runs into -- these are Democrats -- they will say -- this is the headline of the peace, "Trump is going to win again, isn't he?"

So they know, and they are trying to send all the signals, like, "Please, stop, don't." Nancy Pelosi is trying. Nancy Pelosi has been called a racist. That's why it is so out of control, but they are also totally dominating the conversation.

Do you know how valuable it is for somebody to have that much time on CBS this morning with Gayle King?


PERINO: Kamala Harris didn't get it, Bernie Sanders didn't get it, Joe Biden didn't get it. They have been driving the conversation and President Trump is helping them. So, it's like this constant gift exchange between the two sides and nothing really can get done if you do it that way.

CARLSON: There is a kind of familiar quality to this though. I remember in the waning days of the last presidential election in 2016, really the basic attack against Trump was he is racist and his voters are racist.

Now, whatever you think of that -- whether you agree or disagree as a factual matter, it didn't work. It didn't get Hillary Clinton elected President.

PERINO: But, Tucker, go back in time with me to 2012. Do you know who else they called racist? Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. I mean, honestly --

CARLSON: So, why are they still doing it? It doesn't work. I mean, maybe it worked then, but it didn't work in 2016. It doesn't work with Trump.

PERINO: Well -- and it didn't work with George W. Bush, right? They called him a racist, too.

CARLSON: Right. Good point.

PERINO: So, look, Republicans can paint Democrats as socialists. Like everyone is a socialist. Elizabeth Warren will say, "Absolutely not, I'm a capitalist, I just think it should be working better." That's why I think when they have these upcoming debates, the Democrats have said we are no longer going to do any of his questions where we have to raise our hands about whether we agree with something or not, because it doesn't provide you any opportunity to explain complexity or context.

But what happens? These guys know that President Trump has raised so much money and that every one of these rallies that he goes to, they get something also much more valuable than money in many ways, and that is information about people who want to be there, and they can contact them again and again. "Make sure you're going to go out and vote. Are you going to get your neighbors to vote?" All of that information is so valuable while these guys on the left bicker.

CARLSON: That is so smart. I want to play for you something the President said right before this show started about the group you just described as "the squad" about those four --

PERINO: That's Nancy Pelosi's words, not mine.

CARLSON: I know it. I know. It's unbelievable. Here's Trump.



TRUMP: Omar minimized the September 11th attacks on our homeland saying "some people did something." I don't think so. And obviously and importantly, Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.

Representative Rashida Tlaib ...


TRUMP: ... agreed with Omar's characterization of 9/11 and said that Members of Congress who support Israel forgot what country they represent.

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


TRUMP: Check out her scores, by the way.


CARLSON: So, Dana, listening to that, you can almost feel how excited the President is to be taking these Members on. I mean, it's just so obvious that he enjoys it. He is good at it and his voters respond to it. If you're a Democrat, you're watching this -- it can't make you feel good, can it?

PERINO: A couple of things, so the President definitely wants this next election to be a choice like the one in 2016 where it was a choice between two people -- Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Take your pick and Donald Trump is able to basically win that hand and gets those three states, becomes the President of the United States. The Democrats are like, "What just happened"?

In the midterm elections it was more a referendum on him and the Democrats are super organized and they are able to take back the House. Now, I don't think that there are going to be anywhere near able to do that in 2020, because you have, for example, "the squad" has become now the face of the Democratic Party. The president doesn't even need to run against Joe Biden. He can just run against them.

One thing that I think is unfortunate, sometimes it feels like the Roman Colosseum and the chanting of "send her back" becomes one of those -- look, Omar is a Congresswoman, she is a citizen of the country and sometimes I think that the Trump people, I think even understand -- it could go a little bit too far and have a backlash.

However, that said, all of those women in "the squad" asked Nancy Pelosi in the interview with Gayle King, to please be more mindful of your words when you're talking about us or referencing us because we are women of color.

So then you think about, okay, well, the things that they say about Jewish people. Should "the squad" be more mindful of people that are Jewish? And that hateful things are said, right? So, it's this terrible, vicious cycle that is really hard to pull out of, but I don't think the Nancy Pelosi is able to figure out a way right now to have a hold of them.

They have the impeachment vote tonight. There is going to be more to come, and I don't think that "the squad" is going to give up any of this airtime.

CARLSON: At some point, the candidates, Joe Biden included, are going to have to take a position on Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.

PERINO: And where you think the party will be?

CARLSON: I am enjoying it, I've got to say. Dana, great to see you tonight. Thank you.

PERINO: Party at your house.

CARLSON: Party at my house -- a Rashida Tlaib watch party. I love it. See you.


CARLSON: We will continue to monitor the rally going on in Greenville, North Carolina for news and go back to it live if he makes any. If President Trump in the meantime though were a fire-breathing racist, Ben Carson would probably know.

Secretary Carson has served directly under the President for two years as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He joins us tonight. Mr. Secretary, thanks very much for coming on.


CARLSON: So as you watch, almost unanimous verdict of the media that the President is a hard-boiled racist. This is over the past four days, there's really been almost no other coverage of anything else, what's your response to that?

CARSON: Well, I've never seen any evidence of that whatsoever. Our conversations have frequently centered around disadvantaged people in our country and what we can do to elevate them. And it seems to me like a racist wouldn't spend so much time on second chance legislation, he wouldn't spend so much time with opportunity zones, trying to take people who have made a lot of money and put those unrealized capital gains into areas that have traditionally been neglected so that people can rise. He wouldn't spend so much time working on affordable housing, recognize what the crisis was. The list goes on and on.

These are not things that people who are racist would do. So, you know, people need to actually look at what the results are and not spend all of their time parsing every word and trying to make it fit their narrative.

CARLSON: Would you work for a racist?

CARSON: No, I would not. I would be out there it in two seconds. And I certainly have had an opportunity to see what racism is growing up in Detroit in the '60s.

CARLSON: Why do you think people say that about the President?

CARSON: Well, you know, in a way, it's kind of nice that people are creating such a nice binary choice. You know, people will have an opportunity to decide do they really like the United States? This is a magnificent country. You know, where someone like me could grow up in poverty, become a brain surgeon and a Cabinet member.

You know, why would anybody knock a place like that? If it was such a bad place, people wouldn't be forming caravans to come here. And then you can have the other choice. So, people will have a very, very clear choice.

So, you know, let them continue to fight and define themselves and let the American people decide. What I discovered when I was running for President as I traveled all over the country into the small little hamlets in every state is that most of the people in this country actually have common sense, and you know, they're not going to throw away what we want for Venezuela.

CARLSON: I mean, they are decent kind of people. I mean, travel the country as you have and of course, that is the first thing you discover. Do you think you can win a presidential race if you hate the country?

CARSON: It would be -- it would become very apparent with your rhetoric that you are not someone who was a supporter of our nation. And, you know, the interesting thing is we have an amazing country. People are trying to come here from all over the world.

There is no other place like it. There is no place that has a history like our country. Have we made mistakes? Absolutely. Do we learn from them? Absolutely. Is that a reason to throw out the baby with the bath water? Absolutely not.

And you people who can only focus on the negative aspects of our country and not see the positive aspects, you have to wonder about what their motives are.

CARLSON: You certainly do. Secretary Ben Carson, thanks very much. Good to see you tonight.

CARSON: Always a pleasure. Thank you, Tucker.

CARLSON: So is America a racist country? Is it more racist than it once was? Or is a lot of this dishonest? Roger Kimball is the publisher of "The New Criterion." He just wrote a fantastic piece for "The Spectator USA" on that question. Roger Kimball joins us tonight. Roger, thanks a lot for coming on.

ROGER KIMBALL, PUBLISHER, "THE NEW CRITERION": Yes, it is great to be with you, Tucker.

CARLSON: So is America more racist about it was five years ago? Ten years ago?

KIMBALL: Clearly not. Clearly not.


KIMBALL: I mean, it was nice to listen to Secretary Carson speak with what David Hume called the calm sunshine of the mind. It is clearly less racist than it has ever been, just as every college campus is less racist than it has ever been.

Listening to the juvenile mod squad, these four women who are only incidentally legislators, what they are really doing is burnishing their own celebrity. They aren't taking care of their constituents. I wish they would give the phrase "people of color" a rest. We need to retire that phrase because it is a racist phrase.

CARLSON: What does that mean?

KIMBALL: You're a nice color, Tucker. I think of myself as being sort of a pleasing pink. But everyone, everyone has a color. It is a racist term, because the idea is that somehow you are trapped by your skin color that having dark skin imbues you with a special virtue, and having white skin imbues you with a special evil or a liability, and that is a racist idea, and it is being used as a bludgeon to criminalize policy differences and criminalize differences of opinion.

And for the sake of America, for the sake of unity, we have to stand up and people in the media need to stand up and start criticizing that.

CARLSON: But we don't. And so many people who shouldn't let these ideas pass by unchallenged do. We are remarkably passive in the face of hyper- aggressive racists, like Ilhan Omar, why is that?

KIMBALL: Well, there's a reason. There's a reason, Tucker that Aristotle said that courage was the most important virtue, because without courage, you can't practice any of the others.

And I think that, to a very large extent, it is a lack of courage. It's the herd mentality. People want to be liked. They want to go to the right cocktail parties. They want to be -- they want to get the blessing of "The New York Times" and CNN and MSNBC. And they know that if they buck the trend, they won't be, they will be excluded, and they're unwilling to stand up for what they deep down know is right in order to be liked.

CARLSON: I think that's exactly right. By the way you speak as well as you write, Roger Kimball, and that's a high compliment. Thank you very much for coming to tonight's show.

KIMBALL: It's my pleasure.

CARLSON: I hope we'll see you again. Thanks a lot.

KIMBALL: Thanks.

CARLSON: The President, as we told you at the outset, is speaking in Greenville, North Carolina, we want to rejoin him for a moment on the way out.


CARLSON: The President continues to speak in Greenville, North Carolina and we will continue to monitor him as he does. You just heard him talking about abortion. Planned Parenthood believes that women ought to be allowed to get abortions at nine months of pregnancy.

So it was fitting then that last night, Planned Parenthood fired its President Leana Wen when before she could finish her third trimester on the job.

According to Wen, her removal was because she saw Planned Parenthood as a healthcare organization -- big mistake -- rather than a political organization focused on abortion, and helping the Democratic Party.

Additional reporting, though, suggested that she was fired in part because she didn't use trans-inclusive language. She wouldn't say that men can get abortions, too, and so they canned her.

Jonathan Morris is a theologian and ethicist, a Fox News contributor, a longtime friend of this show, and he joins us tonight. Mr. Morris, great to see you tonight.


CARLSON: So what do you make of the idea that the President of Planned Parenthood, the president of Planned Parenthood was insufficiently radical on abortion for the board of Planned Parenthood? What does that tell us?

MORRIS: Yes, that's exactly what it was. And it's unbelievably, this debate has been very public. Right? She came out and said, "They fired me in a secret meeting." And it was secret, because they were afraid to make it public that she just wasn't radical enough.

And you would think -- and the President just said it a few minutes ago -- you would think that after the Governor of Virginia came out and said, "You know, we need to keep these babies comfortable before we make a decision." This is after they're born, "Before we make a decision whether we kill them or not." You would think that plant parenthood would say, "Hey, let's take it easy, especially in this political election season." No.

Instead, they're saying our President is not -- our President, meaning the President of Planned Parenthood -- is not radical enough. And what she was saying, as a doctor, she was the first doctor in 50 years, I believe, to be the President of Planned Parenthood. She said, "We need to keep this a woman's health issue." Right?

And I think Planned Parenthood was exactly right to say that doesn't work anymore, because the younger generations know that sonograms, right, medical devices, and technology tell us everything about what's going on. So don't pretend it's purely a woman's health decision.

Let's talk about making it just, "We can do whatever we want." And that's Planned Parenthood's ideology.

CARLSON: So I wonder why there isn't a broader conversation about what's actually happening here. I mean, you just pointed out that a woman's autonomy is one dimension of this. But you know, no person can create a baby unilaterally. It takes a man by the way to create a child. The man's role in this is never discussed, and then the right of the living child is never discussed. Why is that?

MORRIS: Well, I think the board of Planned Parenthood who just fired Dr. Wen is ahead of the game. What they're saying is, the argument of Medicine, of Science just doesn't work anymore, because our younger generations know exactly what's going on.

As I mentioned, sonograms, but not only sonograms, but how about hearing a baby's heartbeat? Or how about what we see on Facebook and Twitter all the time of young parents saying, "Look, this is the image of our child who is only 10 to 12 weeks," that says everything.

So Planned Parenthood is saying, "Let's not have a discussion about Medicine. Let's not have a discussion about evidence. Let's not bring in science. Let's talk about the faith of 'I am completely and totally autonomous and can make whatever decision I want about this child that is in my womb.'" That is so crazy. It is so crazy, and yet that is what they have decided is going to work for Planned Parenthood.

And I'm grateful that the President Trump has just taken out a lot of money that was going to Planned Parenthood, even just -- we just heard about it today.

CARLSON: I mean, I guess what's interesting is you don't think of, at least historically, the President being you know, a single issue pro-life guy, right?


CARLSON: And so he is clearly -- he clearly means it. So, I guess, my read is planned parenthood and the left have gone so far off the deep end on the subject that they've offended even Trump who is pretty liberal on this stuff traditionally.

MORRIS: Right. Yes, I don't I don't know President Trump's personal intensions, and I never judge anybody's personal intentions. That's for God to judge, right? But I think Trump is about winning. And I think this says a lot about the whole debate.

He says, actually, that's a losing argument to say, you can make a decision -- any woman can make a decision autonomously about anything having to do with a child that is in her womb, and President Trump gets that and says that's not going to work.

And maybe he also has come to really, truly understand the value and the dignity of every human being. I hope so and I don't know, but I believe that the pro-life argument is a winning argument.

CARLSON: I agree with that completely. Jonathan Morris, great to see you tonight. Thank you.

MORRIS: Hey, Tucker, thank you.

CARLSON: We're going to dip back into the President's remarks in Greenville, North Carolina. We'll be back in just a minute.


CARLSON: The President concluding his rally in Greenville, North Carolina. You can't always get what you want. But the Rolling Stones is coming up in the background as always, Charlie Hurt joins us now. He's been watching. Charlie covered the rise of Donald Trump in the first two and a half years of his administration, culminating in a great new book, just out on the bestseller list, Charlie Hurt. What did you think of that?

CHARLIE HURT, AUTHOR: You know, obviously, President Trump is still enjoying this as much as he was enjoying it during the 2016 election, which is pretty amazing if you stop and think about it.

But the other thing is, you know, when he goes through and he still ticks through all of those issues, whether it's immigration or trade, or the wars or ninth-month abortions, you realize just how much low hanging fruit all the politicians in America left out there for a guy to walk up and snatch.

CARLSON: Well, that is such a good -- so you're not even saying simply that the left has gone crazy, but that his fellow Republicans have ignored these issues resolutely for years. Is that what you're saying?

HURT: Yes, exactly. I mean, look at it on trade, on immigration, on wars, Republicans -- or at least enough Republicans are over there with crazy Democrats to leave this wide open lane for a guy who had never been elected anything to walk in and went on everything by just picking some common sense positions.

CARLSON: No, that's exactly right. It's not hard to stay. Charlie, stay with us for a second if you would. A short time ago, the President you may have heard if you're listening brought up MS-13 in America, here's what he said.


TRUMP: Just two days ago, our Department of Justice charged 22 members of the savage brutal, horrible gang, MS-13 in California.

(Cheering and Applause)

TRUMP: Who have been violently operating for more than 10 years, we got them all. We think they are no good -- with conducting brutal medieval style killings, you know what medieval style is?


CARLSON: Prosecutors have charged 22 MS-13 members with a series of brutal murders. Nineteen of those gang members were in this country illegally. Chief breaking news correspondent, our friend Trace Gallagher has more on that tonight -- Trace.

TRACE GALLAGHER, CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Tucker while California has been fighting to support sanctuary cities and fighting against the Trump administration's immigration policies, law enforcement authorities say 22 MS-13 members, 19 as you say in the country illegally, systematically and brutally killed at least seven people using as the President said, medieval style killing techniques that Federal law enforcement haven't seen in two decades. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the defendants allegedly carved out his heart before throwing the body parts into a canyon.


GALLAGHER: One victim was killed for crossing out MS-13 graffiti, another was a homeless man who made the fatal mistake of falling asleep in a park that MS-13 considers its gang turf. The 22 gang members arrested are also thought to be responsible for hundreds of other crimes in several other states.

We should note that the administration is trying to address the crisis at the border by making the requirements to apply for asylum stricter. Nancy Pelosi says it's cruel and unusual. Pelosi is talking about the Trump administration. But we should mention the Obama administration said the same thing. Listen to this.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: Typically, refugee status is not granted just based on economic need, or because a family lives in that neighborhood or property. It's typically the fine fairly narrowly --


GALLAGHER: Amazing how time flies, five years ago, Tucker.

CARLSON: Trace Gallagher -- a man with a long memory. Trace Gallgher.

Well, we're out of time; always goes faster than you think it will.

We'll be back tomorrow. This show's the sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness and group-think.

Hannity from New York right now.

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