Haley Barbour Pushes Back Against Chuck Todd’s Racism Accusations

Sunday on NBC’s  “Meet the Press,” the former Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) refuted show moderator Chuck Todd’s line of questioning that suggested challenging President Barack Obama’s faith has anything to do with his race.

Todd opened with comments from Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), who said when asked about Obama’s faith, “I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that. I’ve never asked him that. You’ve asked me to make statements about people I haven’t had a conversation with about.”

Todd asked Barbour, “This is how it comes across to some folks when there is a debate about this. Why is it that Barack Obama, the first African-American president, had questions about his religion pop up in the political conversation and didn’t happen to Bill Clinton, didn’t happen to George W. Bush. That’s a lot of his supporters hear that and think, this has some racial overtone. What do you say to that?”

Barbour replied, “I don’t know that race has anything to do with it. I would bet a higher percentage of African-Americans in the United States are Christians than of whites. I mean, of course, I come from a place where I’m very familiar with that. Very many religious leaders, very powerful leaders in the black community of my state are good Christians. So I don’t get the race question about Christianity.”

Todd added, “I understand. I’m telling you how other people hear it.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN