Maddow: GOP Could Turn Into ‘Xenophobic,’ ‘Nativist’ Movement of ‘Hard-Right’

On the same night Rachel Maddow dismissed the concept of the liberal media, the MSNBC host sneered that the Republican Party could turn into a “xenophobic” movement of the “hard-right.” Maddow flashed back to the 1996 presidential election and contrasted 2016: “Pitchfork populism and xenophobic nativism of a very, very hard-right cast and [Pat Buchanan] won in New Hampshire.”

If Trump is the nominee, the journalist fretted, “The American Republican Party will be in line with the National Front in France and the U.K. Independence Party in Great Britain and these other types of hard-right.” Regarding Europe, Maddow suggested, “I think they will see it through the lens of their own nativist movements.”

A transcript of the exchange: 

Tell the Truth 2016

Place for Politics
2/9/16
11:03

MADDOW: In 1996, Pat Buchanan won New Hampshire, shocked the Republican establishment. Beat Bob Dole with a combination of populism that, sort of, defied ideological structure.

WILLIAMS: Pitchfork populism. 

MADDOW: Pitchfork populism and xenophobic nativism of a very, very hard-right cast and he won in New Hampshire and then he didn't win another single thing the whole time and Bob Dole became the nominee. That could happen. That could be what Donald Trump winning New Hampshire is. Or, this is the start of it for Donald Trump. And the American Republican Party will be in line with the National Front in France and the U.K. Independence Party in Great Britain and these other types of hard-right, European-style nativist movements that before now, really have been on the fringe, that have been people like Pat Buchanan, who, you know, won a primary here and there, got a  speaking slot here and there but never in the leadership of their party. If Donald Trump is starting here to become a Republican nominee, we're a different type of country in terms of what our major parties stand for and, I think, we’re a different kind of country in terms of where the mainstream and the fringe find their medium. It’s a big deal tonight that he’s won. 

WILLIAMS: That's why his victory tonight is an international news story. 

MADDOW: It is and I think that a lot of the European press, in particular, I think they will see it through the lens of their own nativist movements, which again don't usually become ruling parties in their parliamentary systems. But when you get a big win, it can really change your perception of who you are as a nation and who your politics represent. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.