MSNBC's Joy Reid Links Rodeo Clown to GOP, 'Shrinking Down to Its Most Extreme Elements'

On Friday's PoliticsNation show, during a segment in which host Al Sharpton linked the Obama rodeo clown in Missouri to alleged GOP extremism, MSNBC contributor Joy Reid declared that "the people who were whooping it up at that rodeo clown show are going to be all" the GOP have "got left," and went on to predict that the party is "shrinking down to its most extreme elements."

After clips of from past GOP presidential debates, Reid responded:

It's not just the candidates that are a problem for the GOP, it's the audience. They are getting to the point where the people who were whooping it up at that rodeo clown show are going to be all they've got left. They're going to be able to fit inside a circus tent because the party is shrinking down to its most extreme elements.

She continued:

And what the Republican party is doing, I think in large part, because of the Rush Limbaughs of the world, because they're letting their media people control the messaging, which they wanted to do for a long time, but the smart people wouldn't let them, is they are now just down to extreme talk radio-style messaging. That's all they're doing all the time. And they're demanding that their political people do it, too.

A bit later, she tied in talk radio and Fox News as she added:

It is a generation of almost entirely men, almost entirely White, there are women in it as well, who come from a generation where they resent the changes that took place in the 20th century. They resent things like busing. They resent affirmative action.

They resent the social safety net they themselves even use, that actually help their families, but now they see the social safety net as something that only minorities, immigrants are trying to take, and they're taking it from them. And that resentment, nurtured on their right wing talk radio and on their right-wing media and on Fox News, is all they've got.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, August 16, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: Now, you know, there may be, Joy, listening to E.J., there may be a reason that the RNC wants fewer people to watch their debates, when you listen to what the candidates said in the primary debates last time around. Look at this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE DEBATE MODERATOR: So if you don't deport them, how do you send them home?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, the answer is self-deportation.

RICK PERRY: It's three agencies of government when I get there that are gone. Commerce, Education and the, what's the third one there, let's see.

RON PAUL: This whole idea that you have to pamper and take care of everybody.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: But, Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?

PAUL: No.

VOICE #1 IN AUDIENCE: Yeah!

VOICE #2 IN AUDIENCE: Yeah!

PERRY: Let's see. I can't. The third one, I can't. Sorry. Oops.

SHARPTON: Maybe they have a good strategy there to cut off the people that would view, because these are real live things that happened during the Republican primary debates last year.

JOY REID, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yeah, and I think, Rev, probably the most important part of the clips you showed was the person in the audience that screamed yeah when they-

SHARPTON: No, "persons."

REID: Persons, right, who were saying let him die. You had another debate where a gay soldier stood up and got booed by the audience. It's not just the candidates that are problem for the GOP, it's the audience. They are getting to the point where the people who were whooping it up at that rodeo clown show are going to be all they've got left. They're going to be able to fit inside a circus tent because the party is shrinking down to its most extreme elements.

And what the Republican party is doing, I think in large part, because of the Rush Limbaughs of the world, because they're letting their media people control the messaging, which they wanted to do for a long time, but the smart people wouldn't let them, is they are now just down to extreme talk radio-style messaging. That's all they're doing all the time. And they're demanding that their political people do it, too.

SHARPTON: And they will not condemn the extremists.

REID: Exactly.

SHARPTON: They will not stand up to them. And, E.J., that is what's killing them.

(...)

SHARPTON: You know, Joy, the Politico reports that GOP insiders, these insiders now, are worried about that. That the fact that the party, quote, "is hurting itself with the very voters they need to start winning back -- Hispanics, blacks, gays, women, and swing voters of all stripes." And listen to all the things Republicans have said in just the last few months since announcing their big rebranding effort. Listen to this.

REP. DON YOUNG (R-AK): My father had a ranch. We used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes.

REP. TRENT FRANKS (R-AZ): And the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did America get so mediocre?

GOVERNOR PHIL BRYANT (R-MS): I think parents became, both parents started working. And the mom is in the workplace.

REP. STEVE KING (R-IA): For everyone who's a valedictorian, there's another 100 out there that they weigh 130 pounds and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.

DONALD TRUMP: I have no idea.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Even at this point?

TRUMP: Well, I don't know. Was there a birth certificate? You tell me. You know, some people say that was not his birth certificate. I'm saying I don't know.

SHARPTON: So, with all of this autopsy, Joy, with all of this, we need to reach out, expand the tent. We need to really make a new party. These are the kinds of things that they have representing their party to the core, they can't change it.

REID: Exactly. And what you just showed there, that was the core demographic of the Republican party now. It is a generation of almost entirely men, almost entirely White, there are women in it as well, who come from a generation where they resent the changes that took place in the 20th century. They resent things like busing. They resent affirmative action.

They resent the social safety net they themselves even use, that actually help their families, but now they see the social safety net as something that only minorities, immigrants are trying to take, and they're taking it from them. And that resentment, nurtured on their right wing talk radio and on their right-wing media and on Fox News, is all they've got. You can't grow if that's where you are.

SHARPTON: But I thought they at least would want health care for grandma and other things. I mean, I understand, E.J. I understand, Joy, some of them may not like me, but don't they like grandma? I mean, their own grandma?

REID: She's a taker.