A YouTube clip of Irish President Michael D Higgins slamming right wing conservatives in the US has become a viral hit.
The audio clip dates back to an interview which was broadcast in 2010. During a heated debate, Higgins, the then Labour TD, and US Republican radio broadcaster Michael Graham argue over issues like healthcare and foreign policy.
The clip originally broadcast on Newstalk’s The Right Hook has clocked up over one million views on YouTube.
During the interview, Higgins berates the tea party movement as he recalls his years living in the Midwest as a young professor in the 1960s.
He attacks US health care policy as he points out that many ordinary people have to work 2/3 jobs in order to survive while a tiny elite enjoy the privileges.
He slammed the tea party saying: “The tactic is to get a large crowd, to whip them up, try and discover what is the greatest fear, work on that and feed it right back and you get a frenzy.”
“This tea party ignorance that is being brought all around the United States is regularly insulting people who have been democratically elected.”
In rebuttal, Michael Graham said: “Deputy Higgins, I’m not going to insult you by bringing up your lack of knowledge on the tea party movement in the United States.”
Higgins continued: “You have the neck to say that people like me... are somehow in favour of murdering Jewish people – that is an outrageous statement. I wish you well, keep drinking Guinness and keep ranting away.”
He concluded by telling the host amidst a rapturous applause: “Be proud to be a decent American, rather than just a w**ker whipping up fear.”
Commenting on the sudden popularity of the clip, the radio show’s presenter George Hook, who originally broadcast the clip tweeted: “Glad to hear people enjoyed the debate between President Higgins and Michael Graham although it should be remembered it was two years ago”.
The ninth President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins was inaugurated on November 11 last year.
A former student of the University of Indiana, throughout his life the Limerick man has campaigned for human rights and for the promotion of peace and democracy.
Listen to the clip below: