Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly got into a tense exchange over the president’s executive action on immigration on Wednesday’s “Kelly File.”
Gutierrez started by clarifying that his prediction of “militancy” after a court delayed the implementation of the executive action was a reference to increased voter registration, voter turnout, people gaining US citizenship, and increased activism.
The discussion then turned to Gutierrez saying that the ruling was an example of people being “mean” and “xenophobic.” Kelly asked who specifically Gutierrez thought is mean and xenophobic, to which he responded “I think that when a judge who has already spoken about the case — first of all I think the federal judge should have recused himself. He’d already spoken about criminals and that President Barack Obama was basically inviting criminals into the United States of America. He said that already.” Kelly then interjected that those comments were made in regards to the surge of unaccompanied minors, not the executive action, and Gutierriez maintained that the comments were still relevant because they were about immigration.
Gutierrez continued, “he said that the children — when he described them, as a federal judge, that they were criminals. So, I think when I speak about hatred and bigotry, when you use that kind of terminology about children fleeing violence, they’re not all criminals.”
Kelly then cut in, saying that Gutierrez seemed to be calling all Republicans mean and xenophobic, pointing out that he said “it speaks volumes of just how mean and xenophobic you can be — to risk and to put in jeopardy the political future that you have as a national party.” Gutierrez then turned to comments made by the federal judge who ruled on the action in Texas on illegal immigrants receiving driver’s licenses and education benefits.
After a period of crosstalk, Kelly asked “not only did this judge not think that Barack Obama lacks the authority to put this executive action in place, Barack Obama thought he didn’t have the authority to do this for six years. Is he also mean and xenaphobic?” Gutierrez stated “let me say the following. I disagreed with the president when he said that.” Kelly then cut, arguing “you didn’t attack his motives or impugn his character.” Gutierrez responded back, “you and I can have a much longer conversation,” to which Kelly stated “why don’t you just answer the question?”
Gutierrez then promised “I will bring you a repertoire of things…” before Kelly cut him off by saying “I don’t want your repertoire, I just want an answer to my question.” Gutierrez proceeded to list examples of Republicans saying things he thought were bigoted, which Kelly said was “dodging,” which Gutierrez maintained he wasn’t doing. He then talked about comments made by other people on illegal immigration, before Kelly said “this is not helping” and ended the interview.
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett