Glenn Beck is back in the news, this time over comments that are rankling plenty of conservatives. On Friday, Beck made a bold statement: That Newt Gingrich and Barack Obama are basically the same progressive guy, so if you're a member of the Tea Party and support Gingrich, there's only one explanation: You must be racist. "If you’ve got a big government progressive [in Gingrich] or a big government progressive in Obama, one in Newt Gingrich, one in Obama, ask yourself this, Tea Party: Is it about Obama’s race? Because that’s what it appears to be to me," he told Fox News.
"If you’re against him but you’re for this guy, it must be about race. It’s the policies that matter," Beck said, as reported at Talking Points Memo. Following the prompt furor over his comments, Beck yesterday offered some explanation on his radio show (and his website), saying he just wanted to get "people to think." "Let me be very clear," he said. "You know that the Tea Party is not racist. I know what a racist is. It diminishes the word." In other Beck news, the radio host says that if Gingrich gets the GOP nomination, he "might consider a third party" vote for Ron Paul—even though "I don’t agree with his Middle East policy at all," Mediaite reports. (Read more Glenn Beck stories.)