Anderson Cooper confronts anti-Muslim candidate

"That's like the lowest response I have ever heard from a candidate," CNN host tells Republican House hopeful

Published September 27, 2010 6:10PM (EDT)

Anderson Cooper and Renee Ellmers
Anderson Cooper and Renee Ellmers

On Friday night, Anderson Cooper conducted a must-see interview with congressional candidate Renee Ellmers, the North Carolina Republican who is running the most baldly anti-Muslim advertisement of the year. This was the ad we told you about last week that refers to the organizers of Park51, "the Muslims," and "terrorists" interchangeably.

In the interview (via TPM's Eric Kleefeld), Cooper challenges Ellmers on her conflation of Muslims and terrorists. She responds: "[T]hat is certainly not what I'm intending to say. I am not intending to say that all Muslims are terrorists."

She floats the idea that the organizers of Park51 are terrorists before acknowledging that she doesn't know much about Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

During an exchange about whether Park51 is a "victory mosque," a frustrated Cooper exclaims: "That's like the lowest response I have ever heard from a candidate, I have got to tell you."


By Justin Elliott

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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