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Tavis Smiley Calls ‘Religious Freedom’ Law ‘Embarrassing’

Tonight on PoliticKING with Larry King, guest Tavis Smiley weighs in on his home state’s “Religious Freedom” Law.

Below is a sneak preview of the interview as well as a link and an embed code for the clip.


KING: I’ve gotta ask you right away, your state, you went to Indiana University.

SMILEY: I grew up in Indiana, went to Indiana University, and I tweeted almost immediately, this is embarrassing to my home state of Indiana.I’m glad that the conversation that ensued forced the hand of the governor of Indiana, and for that matter, the governor of Arkansas. There is no freedom of religion or religious expression that can allow the kind of discrimination that we saw that this law allowed to take place. I’m glad that they finally got it figured out.

KING: Did it surprise you that it was Indiana?

SMILEY: Didn’t surprise me, sadly. Didn’t surprise me that it came out of that legislation in Indiana. They’ve done some crazy things. This is the same place that gave us voter ID laws when there really wasn’t a problem, so I’ve seen my state put legislation on the books in search of a particular problem. So I’ve seen this before, but I was surprised in the sense that Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, who I’ve interviewed a number of times, was on people’s list of a presidential candidate. I mean, that’s not going to happen now. I think I’m surprised that he played that card–

KING: Why do you think he handled it so poorly in questioning him? It seemed like he didn’t know the law, or he wasn’t sure where he was going?

SMILEY: Yeah. Tone deaf. Politics, so much, since we’re talking PoliticKING, politics these days, Larry, so much about point scoring. I’m not even sure that people believe half the stuff that they advance, it’s about putting points up on the board, it’s about playing to a particular audience, it’s about playing to a particular base, and so it’s not surprised me that sometimes people get caught in situations where they don’t even know what they’re talking about, they’re just trying to score points.

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