Russell Pearce Wimps Out on D.C. Trip, and Paul Begala Wipes the Floor With Him on CNN

Check out this killer debate, first aired in August on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 between state Senate President-elect Russell Pearce and former adviser to President Bill Clinton, Paul Begala, on the subject of changing the 14th Amendment's birthright citizenship provision.

The video was recently re-posted to CNN's site, and is worth watching again and again for the sheer pleasure of seeing Pearce destroyed on national TV.

Both Cooper and Begala take on bully-boy Pearce, known for talking over people, interrupting them, and trying to roll over anyone taking him on. But they don't let this happen, and effectively counter Pearce's prevarications regarding the original intent of the 14th Amendment's framers.

Pearce states that the 14th Amendment was meant only for African-Americans, although the plain language of the amendment does not support this contention.

Cooper counters, correctly, that the debate over the 14th Amendment included a discussion of the children of Chinese laborers, and that both sides in the debate realized that the 14th Amendment would cover all those born in the United States, save for a few exceptions. (Such as the children of foreign diplomats.)

Pearce claims, falsely, that this is not true. Hey, don't believe me, or Cooper, or Begala, read the U.S. Senate debate from 1866 yourself, here. And you'll see that Pearce is full of it.

Begala dismisses the notion that immigrants are flooding over the border to have children, pointing out that, "People come here to work, they don't come here to have babies. They can have babies anywhere they want to have babies."

Then he sinks a dagger right into Pearce's Hawaiian-shirted chest, by outing him as un-American.

"The 14th Amendment was put in after the Civil War, after 600,000 of us died for the notion of freedom," Begala states, firmly. "And one of those freedoms is, if you're born here, you're an American. And you shouldn't have to pass anyone's test of political correctness to be an American."

At one point, Pearce slips up, and calls the amendment "unconstitutional." Begala sees an opening and goes in swinging.

"The 14th Amendment is the Constitution," Begala states. "The 14th Amendment can't be unconstitutional, Senator. It is the Constitution." 

At that point, it looks like Pearce's head is going to explode.

Moments later, as Pearce huffs, Begala pounds away.

"If it only applies to African-Americans," says Begala, "which is clearly wrong -- the Senator is wrong about his history, he's wrong about his Constitutional scholarship -- then you don't need to change it."

Begala also observes that immigration is down and enforcement and deportations are up under the Obama administration. So what's the point of attacking the 14th Amendment?

Pearce goes off on his "enforce the law" spiel. To which Begala replies, "We are going to enforce the law, but we're not going to shred the Constitution, Senator. That's what you want to do."

I also liked Begala's comment on trying to deport the 12 million people here illegally.

"It would be the largest movement of human beings on the North American continent since the Trail of Tears under Andrew Jackson...which did not work out very well back then, Senator. It's nuts. Your position is not rooted in reality."

This is why I miss the Clinton administration, because of people like Begala, who knew then, and know now, how to roadblock and push back on Republican lies. 

So why has Pearce wussed out on being in D.C. today for the scheduled presser where various right-wing wackjobs are unveiling their hateful and illegal plot to snatch birth certificates from the hands of American citizen tots?

Because, I believe, he's getting pressure from all sides to focus on Arizona's economic woes in his new role as Senate President, instead of leading another divisive anti-immigration drive, which promises to be SB 1070 redux.

And as much as he relishes the spotlight and being the lightning rod, I'm sure some, even in his own camp, are wary of having a standard-bearer with past ties to white supremacists such as J.T. Ready, who is now dedicated to exposing Pearce

Won't stop Pearce from shooting his mouth off. But it has put a crimp in his game. And that's a good thing.


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28 comments
Sam
Sam

Pearce is an idot. It really doesn't say much about the citizens of Arizona that they would allow this man represent them.

mike
mike

For lack of a better word, you all are a bunch of idiots. I am hispanic, my mother being from Mexico, and I am an ICE Agent. My mother came here legally because she was looking for a better life and was willing to work for it. As soon as she immigrated, social services tried and tried to get her to accept many forms of welfare. She declined all of them, out of pride and worked 3 jobs to survive. This type of immigrant is few and far between. I'm not saying they are not out there, but they are not as prevalent as before and it is our nation's fault. We give everything away. The immigrant's new mentality is "what can you give me?". Believe me, these people are in my own family. There are several "green card" holders that have been on government social services all their life once they immigrated. Is that fair? Hell no. But idiots like you guys don't know or refuse to open your eyes to this. Working on the border everyday, I see this. The ladies with visitors visas cross the border to have kids. That's right, I said it. They are considered stupid by other Mexicans if they don't have a U.S. citizen kid. Rich or poor, everyone comes here to give birth. You think I'm kidding, but it is far from a joke. Just interview or survey all the immigration agents that work the Ports of Entry. The Mexicans think we are stupid. Just like in every country, class warfare exists between Mexicans also. The ones that came here legally and work hard "hate" the illegals and the ones on welfare. They have many names for them and say that it embarasses them to be associated with them. These "rascists" or "self-haters" as you will probably label them exist throught Border Patrol and other immigration agencies. The hispanic agents usually are a lot more strict on the aliens than the "gringo" ones. Just ask the aliens. They would usually rather get a "white" agent then a hispanic one because the hispanic one hates how they make "their people" look so bad. Women would come everyday to the port of entry and have us call an ambulance because she was in labor. Now, these women were illegal!! When I was a rookie, I would say, "Well, let's just send them walking back, no one made them come to the bridge". Found out that we couldn't do that. WE HAD TO LET THEM IN ON A SPECIAL VISA!! The get picked up by the ambulance, taken to the hospital give birth and then stay in the country because we don't send anybody with her to make sure she goes back. And this is all on Medicaid. Great, isn't it. Now, these were the illegal ones. The ones with visitor visas would just cross and have their babies on Medicaid. The hospitals were just drowning with these women. Only a few would go to the 'birth houses' and pay for everything themselves, but even these would be taken to the hospital on our dime if they had complications. Now, since visitors with visas are not supposed to take welfare of any sort, once they had their babies, they would never cross into the United States together. All these "little victims" would cross with their birth certificates and an uncle or an aunt. Thousands of them. Their mother would always cross separate from them because if we had them together, we had proof she accepted welfare and would cancel her visa. I could go on and on and on. Before I started this job, I thought how you guys do. I was an idiot and had my eyes wide shut. I'm out of time.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

The man is a pompous, self-righteous, ignorant fool who twists facts, perpetuates myth and lies with great facility. It is no exaggeration to say that he would have been comfortable sitting in the Reichstag in the late 1930s. Russell Pearce, you are one...sick...puppy.

Congratulations, Mesa - you elected this piece of pathological trash and set him on our state to do great harm.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

[Not only that but that his state senate peers were either conned or threatened or just as dumb, rude and oafish as he is to have elected him senate president. OR that they're ALL corrupt as hell in Arizona.]

The President of the Senate looks and talks like a Third World Dictator. Truly scary!!

Tina
Tina

Coz, yes, when I first saw that CNN "interview" (Pearce, Begala and Anderson Cooper) live in August, Pearce running off at the mouth, interrupting, not answering questions, interrupting more, not listening, repeatedly talking over the other two, etc., I was screaming at the TV "SHUT UP!!!" Surely nationwide viewers were even more appalled, in disbelief that Arizonans could have elected this barbarian to public office.Not only that but that his state senate peers were either conned or threatened or just as dumb, rude and oafish as he is to have elected him senate president. OR that they're ALL corrupt as hell in Arizona.

Maybe Pearce IS into Oxycontin pills as J.T. suggests.

Rob
Rob

Pearce maintains the "major" incentive for people coming here is to have a baby. Ok.

WaPo cites 340,000 babies born to undocumented in 2008, most reliable and recent # (though immigration has widely been reported to be down last couple years).

Using accepted # of 12M "illegal"...thats 3% of the 12M having babies (with the 12M being equal to 4% of the entire US population). Using Pearce's quoted # on CNN interview of 23M "illegal" that equals an entire 1% having children (with the 23M making up 7% of the US population).

The entire amount of new citizens gained by these births? A whopping .11%...just over 1/10th of 1 percent. And entire 1% are coming here to have children (though not necessarily) constitutes a "major incentive that they are all grabbing ahold of"?

So, according to Pearce, between 4-7% of the US population is causing an economic meltdown and wreaking chaos on the "American Way". And, .11% need to be relegated to second class citizen status. Along the way we need to use millions of taxpayer $'s to push this crap and keep pushing Arizona back into the dark ages.

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

Pearce is nothing more then a racist cop turned politician. Enough is enough of Russell Pearce. Yes Pearce. Lets enforce the law...starting with arresting you for when you and your son's were cuaght breaking the law at the DMV.

Coz
Coz

Ever notice that Pearce never wants to let anyone talk, continually over talking over everyone and blubbering the same old shit, over and over again. Can't answer any questions asked and lies through his teeth continually.

I live here and what's really embarrassing is people in Arizona actually voted for this psychopath.

The more they put him on shows like this, the more the entire US see's what a nut case is truly is.Arizona's finest, between Pearce and Brewer, Arizona is the laughing stock of the nation and well deserved.

Arizona has got to be #1 for the looniest politicians in the US.It's about all Arizona will ever be #1 at.

I can't wait to get out of this toilet called Arizona.Somebody please buy my house.

Coz
Coz

I'm truly amazed someone hasn't shoved Pearce's head up his ass yet.He's the biggest threat to America to date.

How anyone can support this POS in beyond comprehension.

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

Pearce's mouth was so puckered up at times, I thought I was looking at a puckered sphincter. That guy hates listening almost as much as he hates opposing viewpoints.

JT Ready
JT Ready

As much as Pearce slurs his words, I wonder if his drug-dealing, Aryan Brotherhood wannabe Nazi tattooed son Josh Peace, has shared too many Oxycontin pills with his gay shirt clad dad?

Clip 5:58 Pearce "Bo-Bomma" Wtf?

Just admit that you hate Mexicans and want them deported, Russell. Maybe Bill Straus of the ADL still believes your ridiculous lies. But I know better.

Rob
Rob

Wasn't the mandate that they were all elected in supposed to be about "Fiscal Responsibility"?All the hubub has been about working on the budget.

Pretty obvious the Senate President doesn't think so. I'm betting he was held back from going. He's too far out there now...from appearances like this nationwide to what the FB, Dennis Gilman and JT Ready (unlikely as it may have seemed) are getting out now. Him staying back to work on the budget is complete BS. He hasn't a clue about a budget or how to create one, let alone work within the constraints of one.

It'll be interesting to see how all the wingnuts take this. They're the ones who brought him and his ilk in under the guise of fixing Arizona's wasteland of an economy. Proposing legislation with the sole purpose of litigation (very, very expensive litigation), intended to reach the Supreme Court, is not a prudent economic decision, nor one that a state with Arizona's current economic situation can afford.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Image for a moment a STATE senator staying in his STATE to work as a senator. No, Mr. pearce, you are NOT a U.S. Senator from Arizona. You are a STATE senator for Arizona.

I hope I typed that slowly enough for the good STATE senator to keep up. Maybe one of his aides will explain what I've just written. Now, if we could just get our COUNTY sheriff to keep his flaccid old ass in the COUNTY where he is supposed to work.... ahhh what a concept...

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

Wow, no matter how many times Pearce tried to talk over someone or dodge the issue, he got totally shot down... Way to go!

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

LOL, Pearce insisits it's only for African Americans? THat would make it unconstitutional, because it would be discriminatroy, so it never would have made it in.

Mia Chenique
Mia Chenique

if it's true what Pearce saying..Pearce will and should be back in germany

Chilidawg
Chilidawg

What I find interesting, and a potential strategic mistake on the part of Pearce, Metcalf and crew is the emphasis in the proposed legislation on the redefinition of STATE citizenship. The last time this tactic was successful was in the Dred Scot decision.

Russel Pearce
Russel Pearce

One more thing, if you were born here, you need to be deported too !

S
S

Sure, sure you are. Pull the other one, it plays jingle bells, "Mike". Nice science fiction, anyway. NEXT!

S
S

He resembles J Edgar a bit, too - I wonder how Pearce would look in a little red frock? Yeccchhhh!

Coz
Coz

Definitely that too.

>>OR that they're ALL corrupt as hell in Arizona.

Coz
Coz

Problem is with Pearce is he can't let anyone else talk, otherwise they'll show him to be the POS racist lair that he is.

Coz
Coz

Getting mixed up with the Nazi movement is nothing to be proud of, but getting involved with this POS JT, what were you thinking ?

alison hicks
alison hicks

i AGREE Tommy Collins. How did Pearce get into office...his buddy Joe Arpaio gave him brownie points? Cowboydayland runs AZ/Maricopa...Scary!

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