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.