MSNBC Frets About ‘Far Right’ and ‘Super Conservatives Alienating GOP Centrists’

MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan anchored a segment on Tuesday’s Morning Meeting that worried about the "far right" and wondered whether "super conservatives" are alienating "GOP centrists." The host hyperbolically spun, "But are the super conservatives of our country careening the GOP toward the edge of irrelevance, leaving centrists Republicans fighting for control of their own party?" Later, his colleague Contessa Brewer inadvertently referred to Florida conservative Marco Rubio as the "great white hope." (Mr. Rubio is Hispanic.) [Audio available here.]

Ignoring the fact that the Republican Party actually won impressive victories in last week’s gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, Brewer then cited liberal columnist Paul Krugman as an expert on the faltering Republican Party. Not identifying Krugman as a leftist, she touted his comparison of the California GOP as an obstructionist "rump" and quoted, "If this happens to the country as a whole, the country could become effectively ungovernable."

As Brewer discussed the Club for Growth and their endorsement of failed Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman in a New York congressional race, MSNBC graphics underlined the liberal alarm. One read, "Are Super Conservatives Alienating GOP Centrists?" Another declared, "Far Right Fights Health Bill." (MSNBC doesn’t often worry about the "far left.") Brewer, who on October 21 confused Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, made another verbal miscue on Tuesday.

Discussing Florida's Rubio and his Senate primary challenge to the liberal governor of that state, she described Rubio as "the great white hope."

The following exchange then occurred:

DYLAN RATIGAN [Off screen]: Is that the great white hope or the great right hope?

BREWER: Right. Did I say white?

RATIGAN: I- I- I- Maybe I misheard.

BREWER: The great right hope. Right. As in conservative.

RATIGAN: He is white. Okay.

After her blooper over Sharpton/Jackson, Brewer blamed the "script." Perhaps the teleprompter could be the problem this time?

A transcript of the November 10 segment, which aired at 10:30am EST, follows:

DYLAN RATIGAN: Well, if anything, the Grand Old Party has proven its ability to make a point. You've seen the not-so-pleasant signs, but also the impressive turnout. But are the super conservatives of our country careening the GOP toward the edge of irrelevance, leaving centrists Republicans fighting for control of their own party? Contessa has the details. Hi, Contessa.

MSNBC GRAPHIC: Are Super Conservatives Alienating GOP Centrists?

CONTESSA BREWER: Hi, there, Dylan. An op-ed by Paul Krugman of the New York Times addressed this issue. In the article he uses California as an analogy. He says, "In California, the GOP has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing. But that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to the country as a whole, the country could become effectively ungovernable." [Pictures appear onscreen.] As for the signs you mentioned, like this one for the National Socialist Health Care. We can see piles of dead Holocaust victims here. Krugman called them grotesque and ominous. You remember this when images were used like it when the GOP stormed the Capitol, protesting the Democrat’s health care bill. Representative Michelle Bachmann inside of that blitz. But none of the party’s leaders seem to share her sentiment about the signs. Well, despite the outrage, the Democrat-led house bill still passed. It’s not the first time we've seen a Republican outburst play out this way. Remember the Club for Growth and endorsement of Doug Hoffman?

MSNBC GRAPHIC: Far Right Fights Health Bill

CLUB FOR GROWTH AD: What does Washington need more? Another big spending liberal lawyer? Or a fiscally conservative business person? Doug Hoffman, the common sense choice.

BREWER: [Sarcastically]: Yeah. Didn't really work out there. Sorry, Doug. The club has already, though, moved on this time anointing Former Florida State House representative- or Speaker, rather Marco Rubio. The great white hope. The club is endorsing Rubio as the alternative to-

DYLAN RATIGAN [Off screen]: Is that the great white hope or the great right hope?

BREWER: Right. Did I say white?

RATIGAN: I- I- I- Maybe I misheard.

BREWER: The great right hope. Right. As in conservative.

RATIGAN: He is white. Okay.

BREWER: Anyway, the club is endorsing him as the alternative to Florida Governor Charlie Crist. Two battle for a vacant Senate seat in 2010.

MARCO RUBIO: I want to serve in the United States Senate because I believe that our country is at the proverbial crossroads and that crossroads and our future will depend on which path we choose.

BREWER: Will Rubio’s path fall in line with some of the more outspoken members of his party? Or can a more calculated approach still prove effective? Maybe the Republicans need to figure this out.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org