Dowd Gets Surprise Grilling from CNN's Keilar for Deleting Tweets


On Monday’s New Day, frequent CNN and MSNBC guest-turned Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of Texas, Matthew Dowd received more of a challenge from co-host Brianna Keilar than he usually gets on the liberal news network.

After spending the first few minutes cueing up Dowd to make his typical attacks on his home state’s Republican leaders as he runs for lieutenant governor, Keilar then turned to question him on why he deleted about 270,000 tweets before launching his campaign, pressing him with several followups.

She also hit Dowd from the left by hinting that he was being hypocritical in running for office after he previously argued that white men should step aside and let minorities acquire more power.

Bringing up the issue of his tweets, Keilar posed: “Matthew, you’re well aware you’re being attacked by Republicans and Fox for deleting thousands of tweets. How many tweets did you delete?”

After he tried to explain away the move by claiming that he wanted to “clean up” his Twitter feed, Keilar followed up on his weak explanations, and the two went back and forth for almost two and a half minutes:

 

 

KEILAR: But why?

DOWD: I was just cleaning up my files long before I thought about running in this race, but, again, it’s a typical Fox thing to turn to some conspiracy, thinking it has more meaning than it actually does

KEILAR: Why did you do it then?

DOWD: I just said, Brianna, I did because I just wanted to clean up all of my files and get rid of all of the stuff that accumulated over time. There’s no reason, as you know —

KEILAR: Matt, I understand that, but this isn’t like emptying your email inbox, to be clear, getting rid of all your old tweets.

After he claimed that anything he has said publicly could be found using Google, Keilar continued challenging his weak explanations:

Then why delete them? Because you know that that is going to raise eyebrows — that’s going to elicit scrutiny ,I mean, in the age of “When anyone deletes anything or isn’t forthcoming with, say, emails. I mean, look, we know where this goes. You know that it’s going to grab attention.

A frustrated Dowd, who was not getting the softball interview he probably expected, then snapped back:

DOWD: So what I think is happening, Brianna — and I think it’s unfortunate — is Fox News does this — which is dream up some conspiracy theory as they always do — which is obviously has nothing to do with anything that we’re talking about — and then people begin to repeat it. Again, I cleaned up my inbox in — I think it was May or June, deleted all my old tweets. I think I have 5,000 sitting there. And so I just think we shouldn’t play into Fox’s new sort of conspiracy theory.

KEILAR: All right, I mean, I think it’s an important question to ask. Which is why I’m asking.

DOWD: Well, you asked, and I answered it. You asked it, and I answered three times.

 In her final question, Keilar pressed her guest on why he was running for office if he has previously argued white men should step aside:

I do want to ask you about something that you wrote in 2018. You said, “I would humbly suggest that we as white male Christians to step back and give more people who don’t look like us access to the levers of power. As a white male Christian in America, I am part of a dwindling subset that has held the levers of power politically and economically in nearly every field for the entire history of the United States.” So obviously you were expressing sentiment that there needed to be more representation, and now you are running for lieutenant governor. How do you square that?

This episode of CNN’s New Day was sponsored in part by Liberty Mutual. Their contact information is linked.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s New Day
October 4, 2021
7:26 a.m. Eastern

BRIANNA KEILAR:  Former President Trump is ramping up pressure on Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott to push through an elections bill that would make it easier for partisans like candidates and party officials to demand review of future elections. This is in Texas, a state that Trump won in 2020 by more than five percentage points. 

Let’s talk about this now with Matthew Dowd. He’s the former advisor for the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign who announced last week he is running as a Democrat to be Texas’s next lieutenant governor. … So you see this effort of Trump to pressure Governor Abbott. We are watching what are a state audit — pardon me — a state audit of the four biggest counties in Texas. You have Trump calling that “weak,” saying that it’s slow-walked even though it’s going ahead. Do you think that these efforts by Trump to pressure Abbott will work?

(MATTHEW DOWD)

Trump is not happy with Abbott, as I said, when it comes to the audit. Do you think that Abbott is going to capitulate?

(DOWD)

In — nearby in Arizona, unlike Texas where Donald Trump won, Joe Biden won in Arizona. And the Trump-backed Republican candidate for governor there says she would not have certified the election result for Joe Biden. Do you think that we’re watching a constitutional crisis unfold?

(DOWD)

Matthew, you’re well aware you’re being attacked by Republicans and Fox for deleting thousands of tweets. How many tweets did you delete?

MATTHEW DOWD, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR TEXAS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: I don’t know. I think — what I did — and this was long before — what’s funny about Fox who looks for anything to sort of come up with some conspiracy theory as they do — earlier in the summer, I thought, “I have 260, 270,000 tweets that have just been accumulating.” I just decided to go through and deleted all of my old tweets, whatever they happened to be, so there’s no conspiracy theory —

(cross talk)

KEILAR: But why?

DOWD: I was just cleaning up my files long before I thought about running in this race, but, again, it’s a typical Fox thing to turn to some conspiracy, thinking it has more meaning than it actually does

KEILAR: Why did you do it then?

DOWD: I just said, Brianna, I did because I just wanted to clean up all of my files and get rid of all of the stuff that accumulated over time. There’s no reason, as you know —

KEILAR: Matt, I understand that, but this isn’t like emptying your email inbox, to be clear, getting rid of all your old tweets.

DOWD: Well, I empty my email inbox every single day, and I’m a type of person that empties the trash and all this stuff. There’s no reason, Brianna — you can Google “Matthew Dowd” and find out everything you possibly want to know about my history and everything I’ve said. So everything I’ve said has been public for the last 20 years. It’s not a problem. It’s been complete — everybody knows who I am, what I’ve done, what I’ve said because I’ve said it on national television over and over and over for the last two decades.

KEILAR: Then why delete them? Because you know that that is going to raise eyebrows — that’s going to elicit scrutiny ,I mean, in the age of “When anyone deletes anything or isn’t forthcoming with, say, emails. I mean, look, we know where this goes. You know that it’s going to grab attention.

DOWD: So what I think is happening, Brianna — and I think it’s unfortunate — is Fox News does this — which is dream up some conspiracy theory as they always do — which is obviously has nothing to do with anything that we’re talking about — and then people begin to repeat it. Again, I cleaned up my inbox in — I think it was May or June, deleted all my old tweets. I think I have 5,000 sitting there. And so I just think we shouldn’t play into Fox’s new sort of conspiracy theory.

KEILAR: All right, I mean, I think it’s an important question to ask. Which is why I’m asking.

DOWD: Well, you asked, and I answered it. You asked it, and I answered it three times.

KEILAR: I do want to ask you about something that you wrote in 2018. You said, “I would humbly suggest that we as white male Christians to step back and give more people who don’t look like us access to the levers of power. As a white male Christian in America, I am part of a dwindling subset that has held the levers of power politically and economically in nearly every field for the entire history of the United States.” So obviously you were expressing sentiment that there needed to be more representation, and now you are running for lieutenant governor. How do you square that?



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