David Bossie, a former deputy campaign manager for President Trump, told a black Fox News guest he was out of his “cotton-picking mind” amid a heated debate on rhetoric surrounding the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Bossie hurled the phrase — bringing to mind the work of slaves in the old South — at Democratic strategist Joel Payne on “Fox & Friends” Sunday morning after the two spoke about former CIA director Michael Hayden sharing a photo of Auschwitz on Twitter.
“Michael Hayden posted a picture of Auschwitz,” Bossie said, to which Payne replied, “Yeah, that liberal Michael Hayden, that screaming liberal Michael Hayden.”
Bossie then responded, “Look, you’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”
Payne was quick to reply: “Cotton-picking mind? Brother, let me tell you something. I got some relatives who picked cotton. And I’m not going to allow you to attack me like that on TV.”
Bossie responded with an incredulous, “Attack you how?” and continued to declare Payne “out of (his) mind.”
Ed Henry, a Fox News host and the discussion’s moderator, issued a statement once the show returned from a commercial break and said that while he wasn’t sure what Bossie meant by the phrase, it “clearly offended” Payne and others.
“I want to make sure that Fox News and this show, myself, we don’t agree with that particular phrase,” he said. “It was obviously offensive and these debates get fiery, that’s unfortunate. We like to have honest and spirited debates, but not phrases like that, obviously. And so I will just leave it at that.”
The network doubled down in distancing itself from Bossie’s comments in a statement that labeled his words “deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate.”
“His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of Fox News and we do not in any way condone them,” a spokesperson told the Daily News.
Bossie himself later issued an apology of his own to Payne, the network and viewers.
“During a heated segment on Fox & Friends today, I should have chosen my words more carefully and never used the offensive phrase that I did. I apologize to Joel Payne, Fox News and its viewers,” he wrote on Twitter.
(c)2018 New York Daily News
Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.