MSNBC Panel: Detroit is GOP's Fault, 'Not a Single Thing' Obama Couldn't Do

On Wednesday's PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of Republican Mike Murphy's suggestion that the next GOP convention should be in Detroit, host Al Sharpton and Karen Finney blamed Republicans for Detroit's problems, with Sharpton referring to the solidly Democratic city as "the same Detroit that was destroyed by the Bush recession."

A bit later, guest and Oprah Winfrey Network talk show host Wes Moore suggested that Barack Obama is doing the country a favor by being President, asserting that it was "unfortunate" that conservatives criticize Obama because he "does not have to be doing this," and that there is "not a single thing" that he "could not be doing."

Sharpton brought up Detroit as he introduced the segment:

Big news today out of Washington. The GOP is talking about re-branding again. What is this? Like the 95th time? A top Republican strategist writes, "We must understand that the GOP needs fresh policy thinking, not just an update of our political tactics." So far so good. But then he says, quote, "Let's hold our 2016 convention in Detroit." Detroit? The same Detroit that was destroyed by the Bush recession? Good luck with that one.

A bit later, after Finney had been brought on board, he raised Detroit again with Finney responding:

Please, please, wouldn't that be wonderful? They could really see up front and in person the damage that their policies have done. But of course, they would, you know, they're going to blame everything and anything on Barack Obama.

A bit later, referring to a series of clips of conservatives criticizing Obama, Sharpton commented that "The name-calling and the denigrating are for those that show they don't belong on the big stage of American politics," leading guest Moore to respond:

And the other ironic thing is and the really unfortunate thing is that, you know, when you look at the  president, this is a person who does not have to be doing this. You know, there's not a single thing that the President of the United States, if you look at his background, his credentials could not be doing. This is a man who chose to devote his life to public service. This is a man who instead of going off and doing anything that he could have done, he chose to be a community organizer.

After Sharpton injected, "Right," Moore continued:

He chose to go, he chose to run for state office and then eventually running for the highest office in the land. And the way we address that, and the way respect that is by calling him a thug?

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Wednesday, November 27, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: Big news today out of Washington. The GOP is talking about re-branding again. What is this? Like the 95th time? A top Republican strategist writes, "We must understand that the GOP needs fresh policy thinking, not just an update of our political tactics." So far so good. But then he says, quote, "Let's hold our 2016 convention in Detroit." Detroit? The same Detroit that was destroyed by the Bush recession? Good luck with that one.

(...)

SHARPTON: Now all these name calling on Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old kid, all these name callings on the President. And, as I mentioned in the intro, the GOP strategist like Murphy says, as a rebranding technique, Republicans should, quote, "hold our 2016 convention in Detroit."

KAREN FINNEY: Please, please, wouldn't that be wonderful? They could really see up front and in person the damage that their policies have done. But of course, they would, you know, they're going to blame everything and anything on Barack Obama.

SHARPTON: But they could blame the autoworkers going back to work on him, they could go on a little tour of the auto industry that was closed down by the last administration they were in charge.

FINNEY: But, you know, here's the thing, Reverend, you've talked about this a lot. A lot of us talked about this. This is a constant, consistent effort to undermine the legitimacy of Barack Obama and Barack Obama's presidency. He's a thug. He's overreaching. He's a constitutional attorney and they constantly, you know, he doesn't get the Constitution. I mean, the way they speak about him is designed to undermine him and undermine his authority as president.

SHARPTON: Yeah, and, you know, and that's a good point was, because the accomplishments of this President and a child, a 17-year-old child you called a thug, I'm sure the right-wingers calling George Zimmerman all kinds of names given the incidents and all the stuff he keeps getting into. I don't think so. And I don't think they should. I think you argue the issues. The name-calling and the denigrating are for those that show they don't belong on the big stage of American politics.

RETIRED CAPTAIN WES MOORE, U.S. ARMY: And the other ironic thing is and the really unfortunate thing is that, you know, when you look at the President, this is a person who does not have to be doing this. You know, there's not a single thing that the President of the United States, if you look at his background, his credentials could not be doing. This is a man who chose to devote his life to public service. This is a man who instead of going off and doing anything that he could have done, he chose to be a community organizer.

SHARPTON: Right.

MOORE: He chose to go, he chose to run for state office and then eventually running for the highest office in the land. And the way we address that, and the way respect that is by calling him a thug?

SHARPTON: But that's the problem, Wes.

MOORE: Yeah.

SHARPTON: He won. It's all right if he ran, but he won.

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