Geraldo Rivera (Credit: Fox News)

Geraldo Rivera explodes at "antisemitic" Ted Cruz on Fox News: Do we need him to draw "a cartoon of someone with a big nose" to see him for what he is?

When you get "the caricature, the dog-whistle, the code-word," what more do you need to call him out?


Scott Eric Kaufman
April 8, 2016 10:23PM (UTC)

Geraldo Rivera appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to defend his statement on The O'Reilly Factor Thursday night that Ted Cruz is an anti-Semite, and that his words to the voters of Iowa proved him to be such.

Steve Doocy began by asking, plainly, "Geraldo, why do you think Ted Cruz is antisemitic?"

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"First of all, Steve, good morning," Rivera replied. "In terms of this Ted Cruz situation and this 'New York values' situation, when you say 'New York, money, and media,' what do you need really before you get to the caricature -- the dog-whistle -- the code-word, of what this man is trying to say?"

"What do you need? A cartoon of someone with a big nose from another era?" he asked. "This was designed to bring to the heartland the negative impression of greedy New Yorkers trying to take money out of people's pockets."

"The association is indelible, and undeniable, and you can't explain it [away]," Rivera continued. "There are a million ways to put down socialism and liberalism and excessive government spending and the welfare state -- a million ways without suggesting that you're talking about a particular group of people."

When pressed about Cruz's later appearances in Jewish community centers, River replied that "what you say in the matzah ball factory is different from what you say in Iowa."

"I submit to you, having been in public life for five decades, that I know a coded message when I [hear] one," Rivera added. "Other commentators are flocking to my banner to defend me. You can't be 'slick' and try to slip [antisemitism] in there."

Doocy tried to defend Cruz, saying "I'm sure Cruz will make a statement later today."

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Then Ainsley Earhardt tried to defend Cruz, saying that "regardless of what he meant, I'm sure he regrets saying that."

"I would hope so," Rivera replied.

Watch the entire interview below via Fox News.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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