Eric Metaxas, a right-wing author and pundit, hosted Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis on his radio show last week. Both Metaxas and Ellis are fellows at Liberty University’s Falkirk Center, named for its founders Jerry Falwell Jr. and Charlie Kirk. When the conversation turned to the announcement that Sen. Kamala Harris would be Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s running mate, Metaxas and Ellis portrayed the selection of the former California attorney general and current U.S. senator as an example of “identity politics.” Metaxas recently drew criticism for a tweet in which he claimed, “Jesus was white.”
Ellis and Metaxas joked about the pronunciation of Harris’s first name—Ellis said “however you pronounce it, somebody is gonna get mad”—and implied that it’s ridiculous for voters to be excited about the historic nature of having a woman of color and daughter of immigrants running to serve as vice president of the United States.
Here’s what Metaxas had to say:
I was gonna say it’s—identity politics is really the term. So, the idea that Biden boxes himself in and says, ‘It’s got to be a woman.’ And then he says, ‘It’s got to be a woman of color.’ It’s so bizarre. In other words, instead of thinking, ‘Who’s the best person I could possibly choose?’ It would be nice if they’re a woman or be nice if they’re a woman of color,’ but the idea that he kind of boxes him in, so then he’s got a choice of like three or four people and then he picks Kamala Harris. And I thought it gets so absurd. Because her husband is white, her mother is from India—is Indian—her father is from Jamaica, she grew up in Canada—like you start thinking, ‘What are we—like what world have we gotten into that this is the kind of thing that to we want to focus on? I mean, it’s just, it’s madness to me, because she is, in many ways, I think, a horrible thought as president—like a nightmare. But just the idea that Joe Biden is reduced to this kind of identity pandering, it’s just, you kind of think, ‘Is that really what we want to do?’
Ellis agreed that Biden was “pandering to the identity politics” with his choice of Harris after Democratic primary voters had nominated Biden, a “very old white man.” Ellis said it doesn’t matter to her whether a person “looks like me” but whether someone is qualified and competent, which she suggested Harris is not:
The fact that Joe Biden thinks that voters care that Kamala Harris, you know, is a woman or is of color — that shouldn’t matter compared to her policies, that are so extreme, and so extremely leftist. And socialist. I mean, this election really boils down to either we’re preserving America, freedom, and liberty or we’re turning to socialism. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a woman of color leading that charge to go socialist. We need to soundly reject that.
Metaxas portrayed Biden as a Manchurian candidate, a “cardboard figure” being propped up, “a cipher, a husk, a front man for the most radical elements in the party.” Metaxas also implied that Biden is cognitively unfit for office and that “behind the scenes, the party mandarins, the elders, are scheming.” He added, “I don’t get the impression that Biden has the energy to be president an hour a day, much less, you know, 18 hours the way President Trump is.” (He didn’t say how many of those 18 hours are spent watching Fox News and rage-tweeting.) Ellis agreed, calling it “just despicable that Biden is the nominee” without having answered questions about his “mental competency.”
Without any apparent sense of shame or irony, Trump attorney Ellis charged that whenever Democrats “get any semblance of power, they will manipulate that and they will use it to their own political advantage, instead of actually carrying out their oath of office and the obligations of that office. They use any power to their own political advantage. That’s not what our system of government is designed to do at all.”
She seems to share Trump’s chutzpah, claiming that “it’s just president Trump who is wanting to protect the vote all the way down ticket for every American regardless of who you’re voting for.”