*James T. Harris, the African American Republican who begged GOP candidate John McCain during a rally to "take it to Obama," stormed off the set of a CNN interview yesterday during a debate with another black conservative.
The Milwaukee radio host appeared via satellite to face off against fellow radio host Shelley Wynter, who says he is voting for Democratic candidate Barack Obama because McCain is not a true conservative.
Harris, who said he has been called "sambo," "Uncle Tom" and "sellout" since his comments at the McCain rally, tried to argue that McCain is still a better choice for Republicans because he's more likely than Obama to be pulled to the far conservative end of the spectrum.
When CNN's Kyra Phillips asked Wynter if it was fair for black listeners to call Harris a sellout, he said the word sellout applies, but not to Harris' race.
"I repudiate anybody that would call James out of his name because of his political views," said Wynter. "Where I think James has sold out – is on his principles as a conservative. James calls himself a conservative but he supports the least conservative candidate that the Republican Party could put up for the presidency."
As Wynter went on to rail against the Bush administration, Harris tried to cut him off by saying, "Stop, stop, stop the madness."
The word "sellout" apparently struck a nerve. Earlier in the exchange, Harris had mentioned being called one himself in the myriad of hate mail he has received.
"I am sick to death of the word sellout, and the guest just on used it about seven or eight times," Harris said, growing more and more agitated. "I would really appreciate it if people would just back up off of the name calling because it gets nowhere in the dialogue."
He continued: "I'm tired of coming on this station and getting this type of treatment. I told you before I came on, I'm all for back and forth, I'm all for dialogue, but I'm not for name calling. …I am making my choice as a free American, and I'm sick to death of liberals coming on bashing me because of my choice as a man! …I am sick and tired of people bleeding all over me because of their insecurities. You are insecure, man. Don’t tell me what I am."
Wynter – who is conservative, not liberal – said "Whoa" as he tried to get a word in edgewise. Harris replied, "Nah. Whoa, nothing. I'm done," and started to remove his microphone and earpiece."