The hosts of the Fox News program “The Five” criticized House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday for needlessly injecting race into a conversation about immigration reform negotiations.
Speaking at her news conference earlier in the day, Pelosi compared the group of officials leading the negotiations to the popular Five Guys hamburger restaurant.
“The five white guys I call them, you know,” Pelosi said, referring to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and White House of Staff John Kelly — all of whom are white males.
“Are they going to open a hamburger stand next or what?” Pelosi asked, seemingly upset that no minority officials are involved in the immigration negotiations.
But according to “The Five” co-hosts, it was not appropriate for the House minority leader to make such a big deal out of what should be a non-issue. In fact, co-host Greg Gutfeld even indicated her comments show that liberals are “allowed to be racist.”
“I guess the joke was the Five Guys, the hamburger chain,” Jesse Watters said. “There is a clear racial implication. Helpful or not?”
Kimberly Guilfolye said it was “not helpful,” noting that “it wasn’t the right thing to say.”
“How many times do you have to just take shots at white men,” Guilfolye added, referring not only only to Pelosi but to others who disparage white males as well.
Juan Williams seemed to agree, at least in part, as he said Pelosi’s remarks were a “poor joke.” However, he did add that what she said got “taken by people who want to criticize her as being racially loaded.”
At that point, Greg Gutfeld wondered aloud how Pelosi’s comments would have been received if the negotiators were all black, and she had still opted to criticize the racial make-up of the group.
“If there were five black men there, let’s say, from this Congressional Black Caucus and she said, ‘Oh, it looks like we have a basketball team,’ how would you take that?” he asked Williams.
“She said five white guys,” he added. “It’s OK for liberals to inject race and identity into anything but if anybody made similar joke from a Republican side, God knows the amount of …”
Williams tried to argue that the issue is different, because Hispanic lawmakers should logically be involved in talks regarding immigration — an issue that affects Hispanics.
But Gutfeld was not having any of it.
“I think Nancy was making a joke but she did inject race into it,” Gutfeld said. “They are allowed to be racist, sexist, and homophobic because their heart is in the right place, right?”
Pelosi, though, did not seem to view things this way.
“That could’ve been done four months ago,” she said of a recent meeting held earlier this week, during which House and Senate leaders tried to decide the fate of those affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — or Dreamers.
“The very idea that this week they’re saying, ‘Oh why don’t we get four white guys and General Kelly to come and do this,’” Pelosi added.
Her comments were criticized by Hoyer, one of the “white guys” who attended the meeting.
“That comment is offensive. I am committed to ensuring DREAMers are protected and I will welcome everyone to the table who wants to get this done,” Hoyer told Politico.
Pelosi later clarified her comments, saying via a spokesperson that she was not taking aim at Hoyer or Durbin.
“Leader Pelosi has every confidence in the leadership of Whip Hoyer and Senator Durbin, which they have demonstrated on this topic for years,” said the spokesperson, Drew Hammill.
“It’s not a question of who’s there but who’s not there.”
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators — which includes Hispanic Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey — has reached a deal on immigration reform, though that deal has not been approved by the White House or President Donald Trump.
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