Fox News’ Eric Bolling repeatedly suggested that Donald Trump was not personally calling Hillary Clinton a bigot during speeches, but was roundly rebuked on back-to-back segments with guests who had him replay the footage of Trump directly calling Clinton a “bigot.”
In an exchange with Fox contributor Karl Rove, Bolling asked, “Well, Karl, is he calling Hillary Clinton a bigot?” Rove responded “Go back and replay your own piece of film. He said Hillary Clinton is a bigot.” From the August 25 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:
ERIC BOLLING (GUEST HOST): He went and try and paint the picture -- draw a line between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with the “bigot” line.
KARL ROVE: Yeah, but look, that's the opening part of the argument, look at what's happened to you for the last 60 or 70 years. But the second part of it is not to call her a bigot, but to say “Here is what I would do to make your life better.” And it is in that second part that he advantages himself. He doesn't advantage himself by calling her a “bigot” in my opinion. It's unhelpful.
BOLLING: Well Karl, is he calling Hillary Clinton a bigot? Because earlier today he said, and I'm quoting him --
ROVE: No, no.
BOLLING -- “Every policy HRC supports is a policy that has failed and betrayed communities of color.” I understand it as --
ROVE: That's fine --
BOLLING: She's a Democrat, therefore -- but African-Americans aren't being helped under Democrats, and therefore they’re bigoted.
ROVE: Eric, that's the kind of language you should have, not what he said last night. Go back and replay your own piece of film. He said Hillary Clinton is a bigot. Those are her words. Not mine. So, yeah, he did call her a bigot. That was a mistake.
In a subsequent discussion with economist Austan Goolsbee, Bolling asked, “Is [Trump] saying she is a bigot, or is he saying the Democratic policies are bigoted?” Goolsbee replied “Well, when his quote was ‘Hillary Clinton is a bigot,’ I think he is saying Hillary Clinton is a bigot”:
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: You see him launching the “you're a bigot,” and it kind of reminds me of the old, the first guy that accused everyone of being a cheater is the guy who's the cheater.
ERIC BOLLING (GUEST HOST): Yeah, but Austan, later on -- earlier today, this was after the original bigot comment, earlier today he said -- and I'm quoting his words, “every policy that Hillary Clinton supports is a policy that has failed and betrayed communities of color.” Is he saying she is a bigot, or is he saying the Democratic policies are bigoted?
GOOLSBEE: Well, when his quote was “Hillary Clinton is a bigot,” I think he is saying Hillary Clinton is a bigot.