Andrea Mitchell: Republicans Are Trying To ‘Turn Things Back And Create New Barriers For People Voting’

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell chose to use the historic event to attack conservatives on her Andrea Mitchell Reports program.

Appearing on Wednesday April 9, Mitchell interviewed Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) about his experiences during the civil rights movement before turning to the subject of voting rights in America. Mitchell, following MSNBC talking points claimed “We see now in key states, where Republicans control the legislature, attempts to turn things back and create new barriers for people voting.” [See video below.] 

The MSNBC host began the portion of the interview by insisting:

You fought so hard for the Voting Rights Act, and now we see efforts in state after state to roll it back. Starting with what the Supreme Court did. You were very critical that day you came on my program, and you said it was like stabbing through the heart.

The Democratic congressman followed up by doubling-down on the anti-GOP rhetoric:

We see it all over. And it's not just a southern thing. We see it in Ohio. We see it in Pennsylvania. We see it in Arizona. It’s not just in the American south. So there is a need for a stronger Voting Rights Act. We don't want to go back, we want to go forward. We made too much progress to stand still or to slide back.

Unfortunately, this was not Mitchell’s first time using Congressman Lewis as a prop on voting rights. In June of 2013, the MSNBC host brought on Lewis and declared that the Supreme Court was “basically gutting the central enforcement mechanisms of the Voting Rights Act.” Later that year, Mitchell asked California attorney general Kamala Harris how to stop all these GOP “‘Voter Suppression efforts?” Given MSNBC's long history of falsely claiming the GOP is trying to roll back voting rights, Mitchell's line of anti-GOP questioning was expected. 

See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC

Andrea Mitchell Reports

April 9, 2014

12:40 p.m. Eastern

ANDREA MITCHELL: Well, in fact, you fought so hard for the Voting Rights Act, and now we see efforts in state after state to roll it back. Starting with what the Supreme Court did. You were very critical that day you came on my program, and you said it was like stabbing through the heart.

JOHN LEWIS: I still feel that way. That decision was a very bad decision. I took it personal. I gave a little blood on that bridge, to help create that climate to get the Voting Rights Act of 1965 signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. We intend to march to Montgomery to present grievances to Governor George C. Wallace.

MITCHELL: You're talking of course about Bloody Sunday, about the bridge, the Pettus Bridge, and what happened in Selma.

LEWIS: We you know, we just wanted to march in an orderly, peaceful, nonviolent fashion, to dramatize the need for voting rights action. For the Congress to pass a strong voting rights law. And President Johnson came to the Congress and gave one of the most meaning speeches any American president had given in modern time, on the whole question of civil rights and voter rights. And it was passed. It was signed into law. If it hadn’t been for Lyndon Johnson signing that bill, there would have been no Barack Obama as President of the United States.  

MITCHELL: We see now in key states, where Republicans control the legislature, attempts to turn things back and create new barriers for people voting.  

LEWIS: We see it all over. And it's not just a southern thing. We see it in Ohio. We see it in Pennsylvania. We see it in Arizona. It’s not just in the American south. So there is a need for a stronger Voting Rights Act. We don't want to go back, we want to go forward. We made too much progress to stand still or to slide back. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.