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Talk radio host Lou Dobbs excoriated nativist leader William Gheen on air today for making comments about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s sexual orientation.
“I cannot even imagine why you would do such a thing,” Dobbs told Gheen, who appeared as a guest on Dobbs’ nationally syndicated show. Gheen, who heads Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), had asserted in a South Carolina Tea Party speech and in a news release that Graham, a South Carolina Republican, should reveal that he’s homosexual. (Graham has previously denied rumors that he’s gay.) Dobbs called Gheen’s remarks “disgusting” and urged him to “dump the hate from your heart.”
“Bill, you’ve become someone I don’t recognize,” Dobbs said.
As he’s done before, Gheen insisted that Graham’s sexuality is relevant because the lawmaker could be working with Democrats on immigration reform to avoid being outed. “The lives, jobs, wages, health and security of Americans — the sovereignty of America we are trying to save — is more important than Lindsey Graham’s personal feelings,” he said. Gheen claimed that ALIPAC had received a “huge amount” of support for his statements and asked Dobbs how it feels to “be the Southern Poverty Law Center yourself.” The SPLC had been a frequent critic of the former CNN anchor, who demonized Latino immigrants night after night before he resigned from the network under pressure in November. After leaving CNN, Dobbs told Telemundo that “we need the ability to legalize illegal immigrants under certain conditions,” and he has appeared to reach out to the Latino community. The Telemundo interview prompted Gheen to apologize to his supporters “for being wrong about Dobbs.”
Gheen struggled during the 13-minute debate, flailing at Dobbs and frequently sounding flustered. At one point Gheen mispronounced the name of National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguia. When Dobbs corrected him, he accused the radio host of working with “the open borders lobby.” It wasn’t Gheen’s only blooper: Near the beginning of the show, he huffed that Dobbs had “come on this show all indignified.”
“It’s called indignant,” Dobbs replied.