During an appearance on Piers Morgan Live Wednesday, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld would not allow Morgan to imply that keeping a list of political enemies is the same as using the IRS to target political enemies.
Morgan brought up the IRS scandal, then asked Rumsfeld, “Are you as angry about Nixon having had an ‘enemies list’?”
Rumsfeld responded that the two cases are different: “It’s different. For a politician to say, ‘These are the people I like and these are the people I don’t like–that’s the enemy.’ … I suppose politicians do that.”
Morgan then interrupted, set on equating Nixon’s “enemies list” with the current scandal over targeting Tea Party groups. He said, “Yes, but any administration deliberately targeting people,” when Rumsfeld cut him off and said, “Not with the IRS. No indeed. That is a totally different thing.”
Once people get a sense that they’ve turned the government of the United States, with all those employees and all those tax dollars, against the people–or some of the people–nobody likes it. The people that are not even targeted don’t like it.
Morgan then admitted that even he had found the political use of the IRS “outrageous.” To this Rumsfeld added, “and it’s also illegal, and anti-democratic, and inexcusable, and it should be dealt with in a very, very firm way.”