MSNBC Panel: 'Limbaugh Cohort' 'Don't Like' Hispanics, Are 'Haters of These People'

On Thursday's The Last Word show on MSNBC, host Lawrence O'Donnell and MSNBC contributor Joy Reid asserted that Republicans who oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants are "haters of" and "don't like" Hispanics as the panel discussed the concerns expressed by Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh about  increasing the number of immigrants in the U.S. by tens of millions.

After coining the term "Limbaugh cohort" to refer to those who oppose amnesty, Reid asserted:

The polls show that, right now, Hispanics tend to favor Democratic policies. And again, they don't have confidence that they can ever change that because they don't like these people. It's hard to get people to vote for you when you don't like them.

O'Donnell soon introduced the word "haters" as he repeated Reid's point:

Yeah, and, E.J., that's one of the problems of this debate going on for Boehner and people who want the Republican party to have a future, is there will be more commentaries like that from the Ann Coulters, from the Limbaughs. They'll be talking about this endlessly, and they will absolutely be publicly characterizing the Republican party, in effect, as Joy says, haters of these people. I mean, you didn't hear anything in what Ann Coulter just said that indicates that she has any positive feelings about the people that we're talking about here.

Guest E.J. Dionne, a liberal columnist for the Washington Post, soon added:

I have a Republican friend who supports immigration reform, and he said, you know, we're really never going to win the Hispanic vote if we go to them and say we really want you to vote for us, even though we really rather you were not here.

O'Donnell concluded the segment:

Yeah, I mean, we would love to have your vote now that we have failed to prevent you from voting. Joy Reid and E.J. Dionne, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Thursday, June 13, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: Joy, there's so many things in there that are pure Ann. She doesn't know what she's talking about. They pay enormous amounts of payroll taxes and get absolutely no Social Security Medicare benefits back from them because they're not eligible for them.

And then that thing about how much she hates Marco Rubio, I guarantee you we will be playing that video in four years when she's saying how much she likes Marco Rubio in four years, just like she did with Mitt Romney and other Republicans in the past. But the terror in what she is saying is what, is what I think is going on in the Limbaugh audience and that right wing of the Republican party.

JOY REID: Yeah, that's absolutely right. She is speaking for the Limbaugh cohort, who the polite way to put it might be, they worry about the disaggregation of the culture, that you're not gonna have a dominant culture that looks like they think it did in the '50s. They are gonna have people who maybe their first language wasn't English, for instance. Maybe they're Latino. This browning of America really disturbs and bothers a part of the base of the Republican party, a pretty big part base of the base of the Republican party.

And that demographic fear is what drives a lot of their policy ideas. They don't want to admit it, and sort of the smart political people in Washington don't talk about it. They just talk about the idea that these people will be Republicans, but then they got that problem, too. The polls show that, right now, Hispanics tend to favor Democratic policies.

And again, they don't have confidence that they can ever change that because they don't like these people. It's hard to get people to vote for you when you don't like them.

O'DONNELL: Yeah, and, E.J., that's one of the problems of this debate going on for Boehner and people who want the Republican party to have a future, is there will be more commentaries like that from the Ann Coulters, from the Limbaughs. They'll be talking about this endlessly, and they will absolutely be publicly characterizing the Republican party, in effect, as, Joy says, haters of these people. I mean, you didn't hear anything in what Ann Coulter just said that indicates that she has any positive feelings about the people that we're talking about here.

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: I have a Republican friend who supports immigration reform, and he said, you know, we're really never going to win the Hispanic vote if we go to them and say we really want you to vote for us, even though we really rather you were not here.

And that's what this message is. It's not just about immigration reform itself. It's all the affect about how these certain kinds of Republicans feel about Hispanics. And, you know, you want to reassure all those guys, they said the same thing about the Irish when the Irish came in. Americans said the same thing about Italians, about eastern European Jews, and somehow, all of us became Americans.

O'DONNELL: Yeah, I mean, we would love to have your vote now that we have failed to prevent you from voting. Joy Reid and E.J. Dionne, thank you very much for joining us tonight.