Fox’s Greg Gutfeld Insists Willie Horton Ad Wasn’t Racist: It Was ‘About Crime and Safety, Not Race’


Fox News host Greg Gutfeld insisted the infamous Willie Horton ads, created to support George H.W. Bush‘s 1988 presidential campaign, were not racist on The Five Thursday.

Gutfeld made the claim in a spat with co-host Juan Williams, who decried President Donald Trump‘s attempt to match the 1988 campaign ad’s ugliness with his own version — warning of a violent Central American invasion — tweeted out on Wednesday night.

Willie Horton was a convicted murderer who, while allowed out of prison temporarily as part of Massachusetts’s weekend furlough program, raped a white woman. The Willie Horton ads were used to criticize Bush’s opponent Michael Dukakis for supporting the furlough program.

The ad, while devastating for Dukakis’s campaign, has always been decried for its racist dog-whistles. Lee Atwater, Bush’s cutthroat campaign manager, eventually apologized for the ad before his death. Hell, even Roger Stone, who worked on Bush’s campaign, thought the ad was way too racist.

Not Gutfeld. Here’s his exchange with Williams:

“Was it wrong to point out that Willie Horton was a furloughed killer?” Gutfeld asked Williams. “Was that wrong? Are you on the side of Willie Horton?”

“I’m on the side of not playing to racial antagonisms in society,” Williams shot back.

“That’s about crime and safety, not race,” Gutfeld replied. “You’re seeing race. You’re seeing race. Nobody’s seeing race here.”

“Nobody saw race in Willie Horton?” Williams asked incredulously.

“No, no, that was a furloughed killer,” Gutfeld said. “You’re seeing race, I’m not.”

Watch above, via Fox News.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under:

Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin