MSNBC Hits Limbaugh's 'Venom and Hate' and 'Anti-Women Crusader' Cuccinelli

On MSNBC's PoliticsNation, host Al Sharpton began the show with a segment in which he called Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli an "anti-woman crusader" and complained about "ugly words" and "venom and hate" after playing comments from conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Sharpton began the show by complaining about Republicans showing "hostility" to various groups:

And tonight's lead, Republicans still haven't learned a thing. Voters have sent the right wing a message: They're sick of the party's hostility towards women, minorities, and the LBGT community.

After griping about most Republican Senators voting against a bill to ban employer discrimination against homosexuals, the MSNBC host then repeated charges of a "war on women's rights" and called Virginia Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli an "anti-woman crusader." Sharpton:

What about the GOP's war on women's rights? I mean, surely they've learned their lesson after this week's loss in Virginia. Ken Cuccinelli, a Tea Party anti-woman crusader, was the guy vowing to get rid of abortion even in the case of rape or incest.

Appearing as a guest, MSNBC's Krystal Ball accused Republicans of using "far right rhetoric" on social issues.

A bit later, after Sharpton brought up Texas Republican Comptroller Susan Combs criticizing her party over abortion, Ball asserted that Texas is "at the leading front of the war on women." Ball:

Kudos to her. I mean, that takes a lot of courage in a state that has really been, unfortunately, at the leading front of the war on women. You know, they've passed a bill there that is going to force the closure of a third of the abortion clinics in the state.

You already have Texas women with their rights so many restricted that many of them are resorting to having to go to flea markets to obtain drugs under the counter to be able to self-medicate and have their own abortion. They are going across the border to Mexico. So the state of Texas, women's health is already in dire condition, and they're only trying to make it worse,

A bit later, after showing clips of Limbaugh complaining about Democrats trying to make single women dependent on the government, Sharpton cracked:

It's not only ugly words, Jess, but you can feel the venom and hate dripping from him as he says this. I mean, it's unbelievable, the intense dislike he seems to have as he says these things.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the November 7 PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON:  And tonight's lead, Republicans still haven't learned a thing. Voters have sent the right wing a message: They're sick of the party's hostility towards women, minorities, and the LBGT community.

But guess what, so is the Republican establishment. Today the New York Times reports the GOP is trying to limit the clout of the far right of the party. So now let's see how this latest rebranding is going. Today the Senate voted on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would protect gays from being fired due to sexual orientation, and it passed overwhelmingly.

(...)

SHARPTON: Again, Republicans haven't understood why they're losing elections. What about the GOP's war on women's rights? I mean, surely they've learned their lesson after this week's loss in Virginia. Ken Cuccinelli, a Tea Party anti-woman crusader, was the guy vowing to get rid of abortion even in the case of rape or incest. He lost in large part because he lost single women by 42 points. So let's see how the party is getting away from the anti-woman talk today, Senator Graham?

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): If we can convince the American people to provide assistance and prevent abortions at the 20th week, nothing bad is going to happen. Good things will happen.

SHARPTON: How's that for change? Back to bills banning abortions. They haven't learned anything. Not one thing. ... Krystal, let me start with you. Thirty-two Republicans today voted for discrimination against gays. And if that were not enough, they're still going after women's rights. Why haven't they learned anything, Krystal?

KRYSTAL BALL: Well, I think the problem is they sort of set this train in motion, and now they're not able to get off of it. I mean, they've been feeding their base this far right rhetoric saying the world is going to end if we, you know, allow women to make their own decisions, if we allow gay people the same basic rights that everyone else expects and is granted in this country.

So when you've allowed that rhetoric to take hold in your base, you can't all of a sudden then turn around and say, "We've had a change of heart. Actually, those things we said before, just ignore that because now we want to go in this direction."

So, you know, Lindsey Graham is a prime example here. He's facing a potentially pretty tough challenge in a Republican primary in a conservative state. And he has been a Republican that on some issues has been willing to, you know, talk to the President and be in the same room as the President. So he feels he has to do something to throw some red meat to the base. And this seems like the direction he's decided to go in to do that.

(...)

SHARPTON: Krystal, the top Republican woman in Texas slammed her party for the treatment of women today. Take a listen.

COMPTROLLER SUSAN COMBS (R-TX): Tell me that you give a flip about women's interests. If all you want to talk about is my biology, what happened to my brain? I mean, that's my point. It's not all south of the waistline.

BALL: Wow.

SHARPTON: I mean, that's a big blow coming from a leading Republican nationally and the leading Republican woman in Texas.

BALL: Kudos to her. I mean, that takes a lot of courage in a state that has really been, unfortunately, at the leading front of the war on women. You know, they've passed a bill there that is going to force the closure of a third of the abortion clinics in the state. You already have Texas women with their rights so many restricted that many of them are resorting to having to go to flea markets to obtain drugs under the counter to be able to self-medicate and have their own abortion. They are going across the border to Mexico.

So the state of Texas, women's health is already in dire condition, and they're only trying to make it worse, which is why this next upcoming election, and I know Jessica would have something to say about this, is going to be so critical in Texas. You have Greg Abbott on the Republican side, the likely Republican nominee, who is just egregious on these issues and many others versus Wendy Davis who would be a champion of women and women's health.

SHARPTON: You know, Jess, a lot of these Republican politicians are taking their cues from the talkers, the right-wing talkers, especially the boss of the party, Rush Limbaugh. Listen to what he had to say.

RUSH LIMBAUGH CLIP #1: Unmarried women are looking at government for everything.

LIMBAUGH CLIP #2: ObamaCare is a giant goody bag for unmarried women.

LIMBAUGH CLIP #3:  Look at what they're doing to women with their policies. I mean, they're demeaning them. They're turning them into nothing but abortion machines.

LIMBAUGH CLIP #4: Buy your own birth control pill. Buy your own breast pump.

LIMBAUGH CLIP #5: It's not health insurance, it's welfare.

SHARPTON: It's not only ugly words, Jess, but you can feel the venom and hate dripping from him as he says this. I mean, it's unbelievable, the intense dislike he seems to have as he says these things.

--Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Brad Wilmouth on Twitter.