Oct 1 2000

Novak on ‘Color-Blindness’

Commentator Robert Novak wasn’t happy with the ethnicity of the speakers at the Republican convention. He complained to Bush adviser Ralph Reed (Crossfire, 7/31/00):

You know, Mr. Reed, I used to think that one of the values of the Republican Party is they were color-blind while the Democrats had a quota system. I was looking at the schedule for tonight’s proceedings. . . . We have tonight four African-Americans, two Jews, five Hispanics and an Asian. . . . Boy, I thought I was in San Francisco with the Democrats, what Jeane Kirkpatrick used to call the San Francisco Democrats. Have you abandoned the idea of we’re color-blind and you’re having this kind of quota system?

When Reed responded, “I think what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to have a convention that reflects diversity as a strength,” Novak shot back: “What about white people? Not too many.”

But Novak didn’t like the racial makeup of the Democratic convention, either. On Larry King Live (8/17/00), he warned: “The Democrats are skating on very thin ice. They are a party of minorities. They are a party of the African-Americans, the Hispanic-Americans, and a certain percentage of the women.”