Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin accused MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Sunday of conducting a "prejudiced" interview with Rand Paul, in which the Tea Party candidate infamously aired skepticism about the reach of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Speaking to "Fox News Sunday," the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee said that Paul was being subjected to the same biased media coverage that marked her run for office, before offering her Tea Party-backed candidate a bit of advice.
"One thing we can learn in this lesson that I have learned and Rand Paul is learning now is don't assume that you can engage in a hypothetical discussion about constitutional impacts with a reporter or a media personality who has an agenda, who may be prejudiced before they even get into the interview in regards to what your answer may be," Palin said. "You know, they are looking for the gotcha moment. And that evidently appears to be what they did with Rand Paul, and I'm thankful he clarified his answer about his support for the Civil Rights Act."
Paul sparked several days worth of controversial coverage when he suggested to Maddow that the government had meddled too far into private enterprise in the passage of the Civil Rights Act and other legislation. But contrary to Palin's suggestion, it wasn't an adversarial interview that was the root of the problem. After all, Paul was granted 15 minutes by Maddow to explain his position on the matter. Moreover, he had made the same controversial comments earlier that morning to NPR (which, in turn, served as the basis of Maddow's questioning).
As for the substance of his remark, Palin did her best to avoid actually weighing in one way or another. She was glad Paul clarified his "interpretation of the impacts of the Civil Rights Act," but she wouldn't "speak to each of Rand Paul's positions."
And then, inadvertently, she did. Palin was asked by host Chris Wallace to assess the Obama administration's reaction to the massive oil spill in the Gulf. Two days prior, Paul had been critical of the president for being too tough on BP, the company responsible for the spill. The rhetoric, he said, was "un-American." Palin offered a diametrically opposite analysis, accusing the White House of not being tough enough.
"These oil companies have got to be held accountable when there is any kind of lax and preventive measures to result in a tragedy like we're seeing now in the Gulf. Alaska has been through that. I have lived and worked through that Exxon Valdez oil spill. I know what it takes to hold these oil companies accountable. And we need to see more of that," she said.
"I don't know why the question isn't asked by the mainstream media and by others if there is any connection with the contributions made to President Obama and his administration, and the support by the oil companies to the administration," Palin added, "If there is any connection there to President Obama taking so dog-gone long to get in there and dive in there and grasp the complexity and the potential tragedy that we are seeing here in the Gulf of Mexico."