CNN's Brooke Baldwin had a contentious exchange with Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra about his proposal to establish an office to verify the president's birthplace on Wednesday's "Newsroom."
Speaking at a gathering of the Tea Party earlier in May, Hoekstra called for the creation of an agency to vet the president's eligibility for office. His "birther" views surfaced in a Youtube video on Tuesday. Baldwin confronted Hoekstra, who called into the show via satellite, on Wednesday.
"After four years of the media and conservatives digging for evidence that President Obama wasn’t born here, and coming up with nothing, we need a federal office to do that?" she asked.
Hoekstra proceeded to defend his proposal. Baldwin was skeptical when he insisted that the idea had "nothing" to do with Obama.
Later, she compared the proposal to Hoekstra's incendiary Super Bowl commercial. In February, his campaign aired an ad that starred an Asian woman speaking in broken English.
"Critics called you a racist for that ad," Baldwin said on Wednesday. “Do you realize that critics might use this office — this proposal for this office — as further proof?"
"Absolutely not," he replied. “Excuse me, you’re taking this [interview] into an area where I see absolutely no connection at all." He called her question "outrageous."
"I'm simply asking the question," she said.
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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: CNN anchor Erin Burnett attends the launch party for CNN's 'Erin Burnett OutFront' at Robert atop the Museum of Arts and Design on September 27, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: Wolf Blitzer of CNN attends the PEOPLE/TIME Party on the eve of the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for People)
MESA, AZ - FEBRUARY 22: CNN correspondent John King talks to the audience before moderating a debate sponsored by CNN and the Republican Party of Arizona at the Mesa Arts Center between Republican presidential candidates U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on February 22, 2012 in Mesa, Arizona. The debate is the last one scheduled before voters head to the polls in Michigan and Arizona's primaries on February 28 and Super Tuesday on March 6. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 04: Televison Personality Piers Morgan on stage at BritWeek 2012's 'An Evening With Piers Morgan, In Conversation With Jackie Collins' benefiting Children's Hospital Los Angeles at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 4, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Howard Kurtz attends the 'Knife Fight' Special Screening during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at the Borough of Manhattan Community College on April 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Journalist Fareed Zakaria attends the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for TIME)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Ashleigh Banfield the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights 2011 Ripple of Hope Awards dinner at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on December 5, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for RFK Center)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 27: Donna Brazile attends the PEOPLE/TIME Party on the eve of the White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for People)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 09: CNN correspondent Candy Crowley takes part in a Q&A with the audience following the HBO Documentary Screening Of 'Gloria: In Her Own Words' at Time Warner Center Screening Room on August 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for HBO)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 11: Dr. Sanjay Gupta attends the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at The Shrine Auditorium on December 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: TV personality Anthony Bourdain speaks at the Great Googa Mooga 2012 at Prospect Park on May 20, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Television anchor, Chris Cuomo attends Love Heals, The Alison Gertz Foundation For AIDS Education 20th Anniversary gala at the Four Seasons Restaurant on November 9, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)