'This Week' Transcript: Geithner

The basic point, to go back to what Donna said, involves the speech, and the speech was -- you know, for -- for most of the speech, a fantastic speech, a compelling speech, a moving speech. I mean, to hear the stories about Baker County, to hear about her upbringing, to hear about the men who burned crosses in her front yard, is a compelling story. It's incredibly moving.

What happened then in the speech was that she slipped into what I think are easy accusations of racism that don't work. She said, in the -- in the middle of her speech...


TAPPER: This is the speech in March, the March speech, yes.

HAYES: ... the March speech, she talked about Republicans. It's always about money, she said. I haven't seen such mean-spirited people as I've seen lately over the issue of health care. Some of the racism we thought was buried, didn't it surface? Now we've endured eight years of the Bushes, and we didn't do some of the stuff these Republicans are doing because you have a black president.


DONALDSON: Bill O'Reilly called for her to be fired. Isn't (ph) he on Fox...


HAYES: So did the White House. So did the USDA.

ROBERTS: But there was racism that came up during the health care debate, with the -- with the vilification of John Lewis at the Capitol. And -- and the truth is, is that -- you know, this is a conversation we -- we just don't have.

I mean, I really think Eric Holder was right. We are cowardly about talking about race.

I had a cross burned in my front yard, too, and I know what it was like to grow up in the South in those years. And -- and the truth is that the -- that the conversation is just different among whites and among blacks. It is. And we have to be able to address that if we're ever going to get past it as a nation.

If we have any opportunity to perfect this union, that's what we have to do.

HAYES: I agree with you, but don't you think one of the reasons that we don't have this kind of conversation about race is because of the kind of comments branding Republicans as racists for opposing health care?


HAYES: This has -- this has nothing to do...

DONALDSON: Mr. Beck called the president of the United States a racist. What about that?

TAPPER: But is that racist, to say somebody's racist?

DONALDSON: Well, he just said branding people as racists.


BRAZILE: What she was -- what she was saying -- I heard the speech in its entirety, and I went public when I heard the speech. What she was talking about was the political climate, a political climate that, yes, some in the Republican Party have condoned simply because they refuse to repudiate those elements within their party that simply have gone too far, with the birther notion, with his illegitimacy, and creating the kind of racial resentment that prohibits us from having a genuine conversation about race and racism.

TAPPER: Donna, Shirley Sherrod on CNN also said something specifically about Andrew Breitbart from biggovernment.com, the conservative activist who posted the unfairly edited video, and here's what she had to say.


SHERROD: I know I've gotten black versus white. He's probably the person who's never gotten past it and never attempted to get past it. I think he'd like to get us stuck back in the times of slavery. That's where I think he'd like to see all black people end up again.


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