Newly-resurfaced video shows that Republican Rep. Devin Nunes (CA) defended protesters who used the n-word against civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) during protests against the House passage of the Affordable Care Act in March of 2010, saying they had “every right to say what they want,” despite later acknowledging that the epithets were “not appropriate.”
On the March 21, 2010, edition of C-Span’s Washington Journal, host Steve Scully asked Nunes about the incident where tea party protesters yelled insults and racist slurs at Lewis, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), and Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN).
“Can you give us a sense of the flavor of the debate on the floor, and what you hearing, a lot of angry comments yesterday and at a couple of year college including Barney Franks and Congressman John Lewis, using the n-word as some of the protesters jeered at him as he walked through the halls of the Capitol,” Scully asked.
“Yeah, well, I think that when you use totalitarian tactics, people begin to act crazy,” Nunes said, adding that “I think there’s people that have every right to say what they want. If they wanna smear someone, they can do it.”
“It’s not appropriate, and I think I would stop short of characterizing the 20,000 people who were protesting, that all of them were doing that,” Nunes continued.
“Those are just some of the stories, some of the comments,” Scully pointed out.
“Yeah, of course, and I think that the left loves to play up a couple incidents here or there, anything to draw attention away from what they are really doing,” Nunes replied.
BREAKING: Video of Devin Nunes defending protestors who yelled the "n-word" at US Rep John Lewis: "I think people have every right to say what they want. If they wanna smear someone, they can do it." Nunes is terrible. Dug up @TheDemCoalition. From 2010. pic.twitter.com/lk51mSSGW8
— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) March 21, 2019