MSNBC Panel Attacks Erick Erickson for Leading Anti-Trump Effort; ‘Quite the Vulgarian’ Like Trump

On two occasions Thursday night during the opening panel segment of MSNBC’s The Last Word, liberals Charles Pierce of Esquire and MSNBC’s Joy Reid mocked radio talk show host and Resurgent writer Erick Erickson for leading the anti-Donald Trump movement when he’s “quite the vulgarian” like Trump.

Before their comments, host Lawrence O’Donnell played this clip of Erickson speaking to NPR after he presided over the meeting of conservative activists dedicated to preventing a Trump nomination: “I think that if Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, the Republican Party ceases to be the party that I was an elected representative of so there is going to have to be the ground work for a new political party in the country that represents people who typically have been Republican voters in the past.”

O’Donnell turned to Pierce following that and commented with glee that, in considering the possibility that the Republican Party may cease to exist, it’s worth recalling that “the United States did perfectly okay up until about the 1850s without a Republican Party existing.” 

Pierce, who always can be counted on to be a frequent topic on NewsBusters, then dropped an awkward Irish joke about Erickson and fellow panelists/former Romney campaign adviser Stuart Stevens:

First of all, in honor of Saint Patrick's day I would like to say something about Erick Erickson that my grandmother would have said which is who is Erick Erickson when he's at home? I mean, what kind of power broker are we dealing with here. If Stuart Stevens has a novel coming out this summer, I want him picking the rest of my NCAA bracket. He must be plainly Nostradamus[.]

Moments later, Reid prefaced her swipe of Erickson by ruling that the GOP “is already split” because “[e]ver since the emerge answer of the tea party, there have been two Republican parties operating under the same umbrella and a split was probably inevitable.” 

Reid relayed from her time reporting recently from Cleveland that the city is already on edge in advance of the RNC and while the party leaders certainly “want to prevent this person who is just little more of a vulgarian,” she found it “ironic that Eric Erickson, who has known to be quite the vulgarian himself, is standing up for sort of the integrity of the Republican Party.”

The MSNBC national correspondent went onto add that the party possesses “a self interest of preventing themselves from being essentially destroyed by somebody who is going to march into the convention without the support of anyone there.” 

Clearly speaking as someone without the interests of the GOP or the conservative movement at heart, Reid suggested they should accept the consequences of Trump:

They're going to sit there and watch Donald Trump become the nominee? No, they're going to fight it and if they do, there will be consequences and they’re going to have to live with them. Just like the Republican Party has to live with the consequence of allowing and helping to create Donald Trump.

The relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on March 17 can be found below.

MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell
March 17, 2016
10:09 p.m. Eastern

LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: Let's listen to what Erick Erickson said today about what this means for the party. 

ERICK ERICKSON: I think that if Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, the Republican Party ceases to be the party that I was an elected representative of so there is going to have to be the ground work for a new political party in the country that represents people who typically have been Republican voters in the past. 

O’DONNELL: Charlie Pierce, the United States did perfectly okay up until about the 1850s without a Republican Party existing. Might we be on the verge of a return to that condition? 

CHARLES PIERCE: First of all, in honor of Saint Patrick's day I would like to say something about Erick Erickson that my grandmother would have said which is who is Erick Erickson when he's at home? I mean, what kind of power broker are we dealing with here. If Stuart Stevens has a novel coming out this summer, I want him picking the rest of my NCAA bracket. He must be plainly Nostradamus and third, I don't know. Honestly, I don't know whether it would be good or bad for Paul Ryan to preside over a convention where they fenegle Donald Trump out of the nomination. I have no idea what the Republican Party is going to look like in a month yet alone when the convention rolls around. 

O’DONNELL: But, Joy, this is one of those situations where the Republicans have no good choice. If Donald Trump shows up there without enough delegates to secure the nomination, then he's showing up as the weakest nominee they've seen against Gerald Ford and possibly weaker because he may well show up with fewer delegates than Gerald Ford showed up with. So what do you do, do you go forward with this inexperienced candidate who’s the weakest nominee you maybe have ever had or do you come up with some other result, which the convention is empowered to do. 

JOY REID: Yeah and you know what, Lawrence? The party is already split. Ever since the emerge answer of the tea party there have been two Republican Parties operating under the same umbrella and a split was probably inevitable, but having just come from Cleveland, I can tell you there will be no overtime for any police officers in that city. There is already a sense of real nervousness about what will happen. You've already had Donald Trump essentially threatens riots if he doesn't get his way. Parties have a self interest. They’re entities that do operate in their own self-interest. Of course they want to prevent this person who is just little more of a vulgarian. It's ironic that Eric Erickson, who has known to be quite the vulgarian himself, is standing up for sort of the integrity of the Republican Party, but they have a self interest of preventing themselves from being essentially destroyed by somebody who is going to March into the convention without the support of anyone there. Remember, the people who come to the convention are partisans. They are the Republican establishment. They're going to sit there and watch Donald Trump become the nominee? No, they're going to fight it and if they do, there will be consequences and they’re going to have to live with them. Just like the Republican Party has to live with the consequence of allowing and helping to create Donald Trump.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center