Sen. Kennedy: MLB's Manfred Needs to 'Buy a Spine Online' Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 07 April 2021 03:08 PM
Sen. John Kennedy Wednesday challenged President Joe Biden and Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to sit down and answer questions about their opposition to Georgia's controversial elections law.
"(Manfred) needs to go to Amazon, buy a spine online and come on your show, maybe with Gov. (Brian) Kemp (and) explain why millions of Americans who support election integrity are racist," the outspoken Louisiana Republican told Fox News' "The Faulkner Focus" host Harris Faulkner.
Manfred, he added, "looks like a smart guy, went to Cornell. He graduated from Harvard Law school. He probably washed his hands before it was cool. I think if he's going to do this to Major League Baseball, he owes an explanation, and what I would like to see him do is come on your show or one of your colleague’s shows, not just for three minutes, but for 30 minutes."
His comments came in response to Manfred's move to pull this summer's All-Star game from Atlanta and move it to Denver over the new voting law, over concerns that its provisions on early voting and requirements for identification make it more difficult for Black people to vote.
"I don't hate anybody and I try to see grace wherever I can find it, but the decision by Mr. Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball to turn baseball into a blue sport, it just really makes me want to heave," said Kennedy. "Whether you agree or disagree with the Georgia law, I don't think any of us, I know I don't, want to have to think about politics when we watch baseball. And what disturbs me equally about Mr. Manfred's decision is he hasn’t explained it."
Once Manfred is finished explaining his position, then Biden must come on television, unscripted, for 30 minutes, because he's made a "very serious accusation."
"He has said everybody who believes in having an ID, showing an ID before you vote is a racist," said Kennedy. "He said that everybody who is opposed to ballot harvesting, and we've seen the treachery of that, is a racist."
He added that he didn't like it when Vice President Kamala Harris, during a campaign debate, called Biden a "racist because he didn't support school busing," and he doesn't like people being called a racist now.
He also rejected the argument Biden has made by calling the new Georgia law "Jim Crow on steroids" in a reference to past restrictive laws against Black Americans.
"Look, America is not perfect but we are good, and I think our history is the best indication of the fact that we are not a systemically racist country," he argued. "In 150 years, which is the blink of an eye in the scheme of life, death, and the resurrection, we have gone from institutionalized slavery to an African-American president. We have African-Americans and other minorities serving at all levels, local government, state government, in the federal government, and I'm very proud of that."
He said that's why he takes it "very seriously" when Biden accuses Georgia of passing a racist law.
"Here is what President Biden is upset about, voter ID laws and ballot harvesting," said Kennedy. "Here is a question to President Biden. Given the prevalence of IDs throughout America … why is requiring an ID to vote racist? I would like to hear President Biden's thoughts on it. Not requiring an ID is the preservation of the right to cheat."