Conservative columnist Ann Coulter entertained an audience of 400 at the University of Southern California on Sunday night at an event co-sponsored by the USC College Republicans and the Hancock Park Patriots, a local Tea Party group.
Fears of large and violent protests failed to materialize, as five peaceful demonstrators were the only presence outside the Ronald Tudor Campus Center.
Coulter spoke at length about crime, and the New York of the 1980s–to which, she joked, New Yorkers were about to return with leftist Bill de Blasio as mayor. (She is re-reading Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities to prepare, she joked.)
Though she has written about race and crime, she is an equal-opportunity critic–arguing, for instance, that accused murderer Amanda Knox was protected by the U.S. media because she is a “pretty white girl.”
There were plenty of macabre jokes to follow–including an extended riff on how several MSNBC hosts would each commit suicide (“Chris Matthews would bungle it…Al Sharpton would do it in such a way as to blame some poor white guy”). On a more serious note, she slammed MSNBC for attacking what they called “pro-rape Republicans” over the Jamie Lee Jones rape case, in which the victim’s claims were dismissed and she was ordered to pay the attorneys’ costs of her former employer, an American military contractor.
Likewise, she noted that MSNBC had pushed the false allegation that a U.S. Census Bureau worker had been a victim of a right-wing attack, when in fact he had committed suicide in apparent insurance fraud scheme.
In her remarks, conducted in an interview format, Coulter fielded questions about her new book, Never Trust a Liberal Over 3–Especially a Republican. She criticized New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for his support for immigration reform (“amnesty”) and for playing into sudden enthusiasm in the mainstream media for his political prospects.
She also had a few choice words for those who she said were not true Tea Partiers–evidently including Liz Cheney in that category for challenging Republican Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming: “If only she’d moved to South Carolina to run against Lindsey Graham.”
Coulter described the Senate Conservatives Fund as a “fake group”: “On their ‘About’ page, they won’t tell me who runs it–George Soros, George Soros, George Soros.” Her message was that Republicans had to unite to unseat Senate Democrats rather than following new, would-be leaders into internecine party strife.
“Look, unless they get a good candidate to run against Lindsey Graham, I don’t think they should primary him either, and he’s my favorite candidate to primary.” She criticized the nomination of Christine O’Donnell in 2010, saying that the Delaware seat in the U.S. Senate she contested was now lost to the GOP “forever.”
She joked that Republicans needed to do a better job of removing primary candidates who could not win a general election. “We need a Luca Brasi,” she said, referring to the assassin in The Godfather, offering herself as a volunteer.
In the question-and-answer session that followed, Coulter defended her support for the Iraq War–a “magnificent war,” she said, whose gains President Barack Obama had been “pissing away.” She noted that Iraq had been relatively stable during the Arab Spring, and that the case for war in 2003 remained strong, including suspected links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
Asked about GOP strategy in 2014 and 2016, Coulter said: “Why do we keep using the same strategists? Because we don’t know their names.” She said that her book was the beginning of an effort to expose failed consultants who had misled candidates into believing they could win in places where they could not. “I think a lot of these Tea Party groups are George Soros fronts,” she warned. She lamented that Republicans had lost the Virginia gubernatorial race, saying that Ken Cuccinelli had suffered from a “fake libertarian” spoiler and was dragged down by “a black Christian minister [E.W. Jackson] who could not win a statewide election” because of his social views.
On a more encouraging note, she said that Democrats would struggle without Obama in the presidential race: “They have a suck-ass ‘B team.'”
At the close, a liberal student asked politely “what kind of world” Coulter was looking for, citing some of her more offensive Google quotes.
“My ideal world is a world without liberals,” she said, to laughter and applause.