President Higgins, then a TD, was having the debate with conservative chat show host Michael Graham on Newstalk.
Although the clip is over two years old, it has gone viral on social media in the United States – gaining almost 250,000 views on YouTube in the last 24 hours.
The future president slammed the movement 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.”
The controversial radio host responded: “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.”
However the then Labour spokesperson on foreign affairs 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 radio host: “Be proud to be a decent American, rather than just a w**ker whipping up fear.”