Veteran Republican strategist Ron Christie says liberals use unsubstantiated charges of racism to unfairly bash tea party activists.
"Charges of racism are used to stop debate rather than to continue debate," Christie, CEO of Christie Strategies, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"I don't think these people want to debate the issues and the merits because the Democrats are going to go down to a drubbing in the next election cycle."
During an appearance on Melissa Harris-Perry's MSNBC show, Christie denied accusations by former Congressional Black Caucus executive director Angela Rye that the tea party took a "very, very racial tone" in its rise to power.
A flustered Christie shot back: "Racial! I will not sit here and allow you to say that!"
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He also blasted Rye for repeating a story that as black members of the House prepared to vote on the Affordable Care Act, tea partiers shouted a derogatory term at Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.
"She wasn't there; I was on the Capitol complex," Christie told Malzberg.
"I saw American flags waving, I heard people chanting 'kill the bill.' People were in a great mood . . . I'm sorry, not only do I not believe that the "n" word was thrown out, these people are trying to delegitimize the tea party."
He said tea party activists "are some of the nicest people . . . I have never heard of anybody being arrested at a tea party rally."
"The tea party represents active Americans who say, we're taxed and spending too much in our government and our government's not responsive to us, and what better way to try to shut them down than to call them racist."
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