So I loved last Sunday's episode of HBO's The Newsroom, which focused on the radicalism of the Tea Party. One scene involved Jeff Daniels' character talking about now-Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) taking on then-Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) in the primary. Well, looks like Mike Lee wasn't happy with how he was characterized.
In Sunday night’s episode, anchor Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels) goes after several well-known figures in the tea party, starting with Lee and his 2010 race against then-Sen. Bob Bennett.Yes, he lost at the state convention, rather than a primary. But Lee's office is complaining about his wanting to repeal the 14th Amendment.
"Bob Bennett, the most conservative member of the Senate, is going to lose his primary race to a guy named Mike Lee, because Lee found room to the right of Bennett," McAvoy says.
"You wouldn’t think that was possible," responds the news division chief, Charlie Skinner, played by Sam Waterston. "How is there room to the right of Bob Bennett?"
"For starters," McAvoy answers, "the centerpiece of Mike Lee’s stump speech is repealing the 14th Amendment. It’s an applause line, and he’s going to win his primary by double digits."
His office says the senator has never called for outright repeal of the14th Amendment. In addition to citizenship, the 14th Amendment, which was enacted in 1868, addresses U.S. debt and the apportionment of members of Congress. What Lee does support, according to his spokesman, is legislation that would clarify Congress’s intent on the amendment’s application so that the birthright citizenship clause would not apply to children of illegal immigrants born in the United States.Except even Fox News described the Birthright Citizenship Act that Lee co-sponsored in 2011 as the "repeal" of birthright citizenship. I mean, is he trying to deny that there was indeed a lot of talk in 2010 about "repealing" the 14th Amendment?
It is Section 1 of the amendment that Lee wants to see clarified.
So all you can really say is that Sen. Lee doesn't want to repeal ALL of the 14th Amendment. Just, you know, parts of it. And the fact that he continually used the phrase "anchor babies" to describe these children also shows an uglier side of him.
Gotta love when a sitting U.S. Senator whines about his portrayal on a fictional TV show.
FYI, here's video from 2010 of Mike Lee talking about his views on the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship.