On the May 10 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, CNN host Glenn Beck said that he “wouldn't vote for [Sen.] Joe Lieberman [I-CT] as president ... because of the way the Middle East would use it,” but also asserted, “That's not saying the same thing as I wouldn't vote for a Jew for president.” He did not explain the distinction he drew between asserting that he would not vote for Lieberman, who is Jewish, and asserting that he wouldn't vote for any Jew for president. He stated that although he believes Lieberman “knows how to fight this war,” and “even if I didn't disagree with him on so many social issues,” he would refrain from voting for him because of the “complications it would add in this country or on the planet right now.”
From the May 10 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
CALLER: You know, we were just having this conversation yesterday about -- with some friends of mine. None of us really could care less. I've met some Mormons --
BECK: Look. Look, [caller], here's the thing. It is -- this is the epitome of bigoted thinking by saying that you won't vote for somebody because they're a Mormon. It is the epitome of bigoted -- can you imagine if I said, “I won't vote for somebody because they're a Jew” ? “I won't vote for them because they're a Muslim” ? Can you imagine coming out and saying that? And yet, it's OK in America to say that I, “I won't vote for them because they're a Mormon.” It's bigoted.
Now, I have said on this program, “I would not vote for Joe Lieberman as president of the United States.” I think Joe Lieberman knows how to fight this war. I think Joe Lieberman really gets it. However, even if I didn't disagree with him on so many social issues, I wouldn't vote for Joe Lieberman at this time because of the complications it would add in this country or on the planet right now because of the way the Middle East would use it. That's not saying the same thing as I wouldn't vote for a Jew for president. And yet, people can get away with that.
But again, let me go back. This discussion -- [Rev.] Al Sharpton is a genius! Because what are we talking about? We're talking about whether you'd vote for a Mormon or not. The question is, Al Sharpton said Mormons aren't Christians. Mitt Romney said that's a bigoted remark. What does Al Sharpton do? He says, “Well, I stand by that they're bigoted. They are bigot -- now that he's used that word. They are bigoted.” Instead of apologizing. Who's talking about Al Sharpton? This guy's a genius. Is anybody talking about Al Sharpton? No. Huh-uh. Huh-uh. Talking about Mitt Romney and whether or not you'd vote for a Mormon. It's incredible. Just incredible.
C. Murphy Hebert is an intern at Media Matters for America.