On Saturday, Republican North Carolina Reps. Patrick McHenry and Robin Hayes warmed up the crowd at a rally for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) by throwing red meat to the right-wing audience. McHenry called the event the “biggest crowd John McCain has gotten in North Carolina” and said that voters had a critical choice between McCain and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) this election. Someone in the audience yelled out, “It’s like black and white” to loud laughter. McHenry let the remark pass.
When it was his turn to speak, Hayes accused liberals of hating “real Americans”:
He [McHenry] yielded the microphone to Representative Robin Hayes, who prefaced his comments by saying it was important to “make sure we don’t say something stupid, make sure we don’t say something we don’t mean.” Republicans, he reminded the crowd, were kind people. Plus, he added, the liberal media had shown itself eager to distort such remarks. With the crowd duly chastened and put on best behavior, he accused Obama of “inciting class warfare” and said that “liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God.”
This meme has been picking up steam amongst the right wing in recent weeks. Most prominently, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) exploded on Friday and said that liberals were “anti-American.” The McCain campaign and its conservative allies have also been blasting progressive ideas as “socialist” or “Marxist.”
Note that Hayes is the same congressman who, in 2006, said:
Stability in Iraq ultimately depends on spreading the message of Jesus Christ, the message of peace on earth, good will towards men. Everything depends on everyone learning about the birth of the Savior.
In 2005, he also insisted that “Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11.” When he was told that no investigation found any link between Saddam and 9/11, Hayes responded, “I’m sorry, but you must have looked in the wrong places.”
Politico spoke with Hayes’s spokesperson, who denied that the congressman ever made the statements. NY Observer reporter Jason Horowitz, who originally reported on Hayes’s comments, stands behind his story: “I was there. That’s what I heard. I was taking notes while he was talking.”