Jake Tapper Stuns Roy Moore Spokesman With Constitutional Fact

In a discussion with Roy Moore spokesman Ted Crockett today, CNN’s Jake Tapper left his guest literally speechless after informing him public servants aren’t required to use a Christian Bible to be sworn into office. The stunning moment happened as the two discussed Moore’s longstanding position that Muslims shouldn’t be able to serve in Congress.

Backstory

When Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN) took office in 2006, Roy Moore wrote a scathing, Islamophobic article at conspiracy theory-driven website WorldNetDaily. The crux of that article argued that Ellison – a Muslim – should not be able to use the Quran to be sworn into office.

“Can a true believer in the Islamic doctrine found in the Quran swear allegiance to our Constitution? Those who profess a sincere belief in Allah say ‘no!'” Moore said.

He added:

Our Constitution states, “Each House [of Congress] shall be the judge … of the qualifications of its own members.” Enough evidence exists for Congress to question Ellison’s qualifications to be a member of Congress as well as his commitment to the Constitution in view of his apparent determination to embrace the Quran and an Islamic philosophy directly contrary to the principles of the Constitution. But common sense alone dictates that in the midst of a war with Islamic terrorists we should not place someone in a position of great power who shares their doctrine. In 1943, we would never have allowed a member of Congress to take their oath on “Mein Kampf,” or someone in the 1950s to swear allegiance to the “Communist Manifesto.” Congress has the authority and should act to prohibit Ellison from taking the congressional oath today!

He essentially argued that Ellison’s Islamic beliefs precluded him from not only serving, but being able to even be sworn into office.

He used similar arguments to question the legitimacy and heritage of former President Barack Obama as a part of the repeatedly debunked, racist ‘birther’ theory.

That said, Moore’s comments on non-Christian religious beliefs and the ability for non-Christians to serve in public office was relevant and pertinent when Tapper questioned Crockett about the previous remarks.

The Exchange

When Tapper asked his guest about Moore’s previous comments, Crockett was quick to respond why he believes Muslims should not be able to serve in Congress.

“Because you have to swear on the Bible…. You have to swear on a Bible to be an elected official in the United States of America. He alleges that a Muslim cannot do that ethically, swearing on the Bible,” he said.

The full video must be seen to be believed – particularly when Tapper informs Crockett how the Constitution actually works:

 

“You don’t actually have to swear on a Christian Bible,” Tapper explained. “You can swear on anything, really.”

When Crockett responded that he was sworn in on a Bible, Tapper pointed out that was his choice, not a requirement. He attempted to make the same argument about Donald Trump and received the same response.

Thanks to Doug Jones’ special election victory tonight, we may not have to hear from such constitutionally illiterate surrogates for much longer.

 

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.

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