MSNBC’s Wagner Smears: GOP Thinks Black Votes In Mississippi ‘Aren’t Legitimate’

Leave it to MSNBC to twist the rhetoric of the Tea Party following Thad Cochran’s upset of Chris McDaniel in the June 24 Mississippi runoff. On Tuesday's Now, host Alex Wagner and David Corn of Mother Jones both strongly suggested that racism is the reason why the Tea Party objected to thousands of Democrats pushing Cochran to victory.

Wagner sneered, “This is particularly pointed for the Republican Party, not just because it's Republican versus Republican but the votes they are questioning are predominantly black votes.” She then took things up a notch, claiming that the Tea Party views black voters as illegitimate: [MP3 audio here; video below]

And for a party in the heart of the south to be out there, and we talked about this, poll watchers is one thing but now to say we're going to litigate this in the northern districts of Mississippi, which are predominantly black and say these votes aren't legitimate is a really powerful message to be sending to the country and to minority voters.

Wagner received no push back from Corn, who asserted that the chaos following the runoff could benefit the Democrats in the general election. Wagner followed by making a broad critique of the Republican Party and connecting the issue to the party’s support of voter ID: “This is now part of the Republican playbook. If you don't like the results of an election, make sure voters can't vote or if they did vote, make sure the votes don't count. I mean, that is an incredibly problematic strategy.”

Corn agreed, insisting that Republicans “Call it fraud, over and over again, whether it's there or not. In this instance, as you write, there's a racial component that's going to hurt them one way or the other.” It apparently didn't occur to either of these liberal hosts that conservative Republicans simply object to Democrats influencing their primary.  

Unsurprisingly, MSNBC has flip-flopped on the issue of influencing primaries. Chris Matthews, among many others in the liberal media, denounced Rush Limbaugh’s so called Operation Chaos during the 2008 Democratic primaries.

The relevant portion of the transcript is below:

MSNBC
Now with Alex Wagner
July 8, 2014
4:37 p.m. Eastern

DAVID CORN, Mother Jones: It does remind me though, of the guys after the Civil War, the Lost Cause, we will never surrender, coming out with little caps and muskets and that's what Ted Cruz should have done. But you know, the last point you made is really interesting. I mean every point you make is interesting but that one was really interesting. Because it shows just how, you know, conflicted the Republican Party is. You know, here you have the guy who is the vice chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee getting upset because the National Republican Senatorial Committee won.

ALEX WAGNER, host: Did its work.

CORN: They do what they’re supposed to do. And um–

ALEX WAGNER: Blaming it on the Washington machine, which is–

CORN: Which he's part of. But this is all about with Ted Cruz obviously, about 2016. The Tea Party needs a fight. For the same reason that John Boehner is suing the president, they um–Ted Cruz is now making Mississippi the battleground, you've got to appease the Tea Party, you’ve got to throw it red meat, and keep ahead of it before it consumes you. And so, I think the interesting thing will be to what degree does this become a national Tea Party cause? You know, to the Cliven Bundy level or you know, we see in some places with the Tea Party, these sort of lost causes of the Tea Party.

ALEX WAGNER: They find a home.

CORN: They find a home. Sometimes they sputter. Matt Bevin running against Mitch McConnell didn't do too well. They didn’t knock out Lindsey Graham in South Carolina. But here, you know–

WAGNER: Well, this is particularly pointed for the Republican Party, not just because it's Republican versus Republican but the votes they are questioning are predominantly black votes. And for a party in the heart of the south to be out there, and we talked about this, poll watchers is one thing but now to say we're going to litigate this in the northern districts of Mississippi, which are predominantly black and say these votes aren't legitimate is a really powerful message to be sending to the country and to minority voters.

CORN: The thing is, what can–if the best outcome they can get is to have a runoff election. If they do this, what do you think will happen in the runoff election? I mean come on, you know it's going to happen. The people whose votes they have thrown out are gonna come rushing back and others as well, and they’re have to do the whole thing over again. I mean this is great, this may even give the Democrat a chance if they do this two or three more times before the general election in November. Although, they are almost whistling past the grave yard, the McDaniel campaign, because a lot of legal experts say it's at all not cut and dry, that they can mount a challenge and get a redo of the runoff. And so, they keep talking about irregularities, they haven’t really produced evidence of much yet.

WAGNER: What I um–you say they haven't produced much evidence of irregularities. You can map that exact same logic on the whole voter ID debate, right.

CORN: True.

WAGNER: This is now part of the Republican playbook. If you don't like the results of an election, make sure voters can't vote or if they did vote, make sure the votes don't count. I mean that is an incredibly problematic strategy.

CORN: Call it fraud, over and over again, whether it's there or not. In this instance, as you write, there's a racial component that's going to hurt them one way or the other.

WAGNER: I don’t know how, they should–does anybody control the Republican party anymore? Ted Cruz seems to be as potent as he ever is.

CORN: No, they don't control it. As you can see, the NRSC can't prevent its vice chairman from attacking what they do. So obviously there is nobody in charge. It's kindergarten, it’s without the teacher.

WAGNER: It’s not biting the hand that feeds you, it's biting your own hand.

Connor Williams
Connor Williams
Connor Williams is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.