MSNBC Guest Tucker: GOP 'Pandered to' 'Bigots,' 'Racists', 'Homophobes'

Appearing as a guest on Monday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, syndicated columnist Cynthia Tucker charged that Republicans "pandered" to "bigot" and "homophobes" in the 2004 presidential election, and later threw in the word "racists" as well, as she and host Al Sharpton responded to Wyoming Republican Senate candidate Liz Cheney's dispute with sister Mary over the same-sex marriage issue. Tucker began:

But let me also say I don't blame Mary Cheney at all for going public with her hurt and her disagreement. Because, you know, Reverend Al, gay Republicans for years have stayed hidden in the closet, as it were. Given their resources, their money, their votes to the party while party big wigs went out there and pandered to the bigots and the homophobes. And people like Mary Cheney have just said, "Enough. I'm not going to take this anymore, and I don't blame her."

A bit later, she added:

But they've been doing this for decades, Reverend Al. You know, many, there are many Republican leaders who know better than to pander to racists. Who know better than to pander to homophobes. But that brings out a certain base of the voters, so they do it over and over again.

Below is a transcript of the relevant exchanges from the Monday, November 18, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: But her sister wasn't having it. After that interview, Mary Cheney posted on facebook: "Liz, this isn't just an issue on which we disagree. You're just wrong and on the wrong side of history."
 
But this show isn't about just one family. The entire party is feuding over the future of the GOP. Today, we learned Karl Rove is taking on the Tea Party. His political organization, American Cross Roads, is swearing off unelectable candidates. Guess Rove hasn't forgotten Todd "legitimate rape" Akin. But the billionaire right-wing Koch brothers are moving full steam ahead. Their Tea Party group Americans for Prosperity spent a record $122 million in the 2012 election. A spokesman says: "When we see opportunities to engage on our issues, we go all in. You can expect that to continue."

But it's not just a clash of the big money guys. Sarah Palin spent the last week ripping anti-choice, anti-gay marriage, and anti-gun control Chris Christie for not being conservative enough. So what's going on inside the GOP? I'm going to say chaos. Can I get a round of applause for chaos? Survey says, chaos. Chaos is correct. And this is one family feud that isn't ending any time soon. ... Cynthia, do you agree that the feud between the Cheney sisters is part of a bigger Republican civil war?

CYNTHIA TUCKER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, of course it is. First of all, let me say that I have sisters and I'm sad to see two sisters publicly fighting this way when they've been close before. But let me also say I don't blame Mary Cheney at all for going public with her hurt and her disagreement.

Because, you know, Reverend Al, gay Republicans for years have stayed hidden in the closet, as it were. Given their resources, their money, their votes to the party while party big wigs went out there and pandered to the bigots and the homophobes. And people like Mary Cheney have just said, "Enough. I'm not going to take this anymore, and I don't blame her."

(...)

SHARPTON: Cynthia, I want to go back to you for a minute with the sisters, though, before we have to go. This whole fight with the Cheney sisters, it shows a real playing to the division in the party. Because one of the things that her sister has raised to reporters is that my sister's running now for senator in Wyoming, so she's taking these positions, but she embraced me and my mate and came to the wedding and told us she loved us.

Now she's going out of her way to attack our marriage. This kind of thing is really exposing the kind of internal contradictions that they're having in the party with this feeding and playing to the extreme sides of the party.

TUCKER: But they've been doing this for decades, Reverend Al. You know, many, there are many Republican leaders who know better than to pander to racists. Who know better than to pander to homophobes. But that brings out a certain base of the voters, so they do it over and over again. I don't have any reason to believe Liz Cheney is really honestly against gay marriage because she never said anything about it before.

All those years her father stood up and said he had no problem with gay marriage. Liz could have come out then and said, "Oh, but I disagree." She didn't. But now that she thinks she needs to run to the right of Mike Enzi, she is ready to sacrifice her relationship with her sister to do that.

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