Fox host Neil Cavuto didn’t buy Sen. John Kennedy’s dubious explanation as to why he said Mexicans “would be eating cat food out of a can and living in a tent behind an Outback” were it not for Americans.
Kennedy made that remark during a Senate hearing in which he urged the Biden White House to pressure the Mexican government to allow the U.S. military into that country to combat the cartels.
Not surprisingly, Kennedy’s words did not go over well with Mexican officials. According to The Guardian, Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary, called Kennedy “a profoundly ignorant man,” and Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, “urged the 37 million Americans of Mexican descent – along with other Latinos in the US – ‘not to vote for people with this very arrogant, very offensive and very foolish mentality’ in the future.” Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S., Esteban Moctezuma, demanded an apology in a scathing letter blasting Kennedy’s “vulgar and racist words.”
Kennedy appeared on Fox News’ Your World show on Wednesday. He and host Neil Cavuto first discussed the debt ceiling negotiations. At about 3:14 into the discussion, Cavuto confronted Kennedy about his remarks.
“People like Robert Kennedy Jr. and others are coming out and saying that’s crazy, that’s gone one step too far,” Cavuto said.
Sen. Kennedy tried to clean up the remarks but without walking them back. He said, “I love the people of Mexico. I hate the cartels. And President López Obrador, who’s the president of Mexico, he ran on a slogan with respect to the cartels of hugs, not bullets. Well, that’s not working out too well for him.”
Cavuto did not let Kennedy off the hook. Referencing the “cat food” remark, Cavuto said, “You have colorful language Senator, but do you think that got too colorful?”
No, Kennedy didn’t think so. “What I proposed to the head of DEA was that she and the president call the president of Mexico and ask if the American military and American law enforcement can come into Mexico under the supervision of the Mexican military and the Mexican law enforcement and let us work together to eradicate the cartels because we know who they are, and we know where they are, and I suggested to the DEA Secretary that we use America’s economic leverage to try to convince the president of Mexico to do that.”
Cavuto said that proposal made “perfect sense” but asked, “Do you think the way you explained it to me just now would have been probably the better way to explain it?”
Kennedy insisted his offensive remark was A-OK. “I think if you go look at my entire remarks, you’ll then understand the entire context in which I said it.”
“But if Mexicans who feel that you went further than that to sort of malign all of them, you would say?” Cavuto pressed.
“I would say that’s not true,” Kennedy responded. “I love the people of Mexico, but I hate their cartels, and President López Obrador needs to stand up to the cartels because they’re poisoning our children.”
Kennedy went on to say he doesn’t understand why López Obrador has not asked the American military to, essentially, invade Mexico nor why President Joe Biden is not pushing for it. “Both countries would be better off because the cartels are crushing small business in Mexico through extortion, and they’re killing Americans through fentanyl,” Kennedy said, “And I think most fair-minded people know that what I just said is true.”
Instead of considering the likely opposition in Mexico to U.S. troops on Mexican soil, Kennedy accused López Obrador of “looking for a way to distract from what I think is my logic to say ‘Well, Kennedy is a racist.’ You know everybody’s a racist now it seems.”
“You don’t take back any of those other words?” Cavuto asked.
“No, no, no,” Kennedy said, “Have you listened to the tape?”
“I have,” Cavuto replied.
“Then I think you’ll understand, at least from my point of view, what I was saying and why I was saying it,” Kennedy maintained.
“I don’t,” Cavuto said, in a stunner. After a pause, he added, “but that’s just me.” Then he thanked Kennedy for coming on and Kennedy said Cavuto is entitled to his opinion.
You can watch the rare occurrence of a Republican official getting called out for bigotry on Fox News below, from the May 17, 2023 Your World.