Brian Williams Turned to Steve Schmidt on Election Night: Tell Them It's Time to Shut This Limbaugh Down

Now that the Republican Party lost another presidential election, the hot trend right now in the liberal media is to turn to the conservative-trashing Republicans and urge them to tell the public once again how the conservatives are ruining American politics with their crazy talk.

Perhaps because he loves Barack Obama so deeply, NBC anchor Brian Williams spent Election Night in a snit over some odd tweets by  Donald Trump somehow denying America is a democracy. He turned to Steve Schmidt -- ahem, the strategic genius who lost the last presidential campaign to Obama -- to explain why Rush Limbaugh and Trump need to be shut down (video and transcript below):

BRIAN WILLIAMS: We’ve had some dustup with Rush Limbaugh, we’ve had some tweets tonight from Donald Trump. By nature, they are – they tend to be polemicists. I think that’s a polite, accurate word. They tend to still get MSM attention, and attention on the left and right, and your advice to those, especially in your party, is to shut this down.

STEVE SCHMIDT: It’s gotta be shut down. It needs to be repudiated by serious leaders in the party.  Look, conservatism is a serious governing philosophy, and it has served this country well, and it will serve the country well in the future. But conservatism shouldn’t be defined by fidelity to all of these crazy statements by talk-radio personalities, or by reality show hosts who go out and say outrageous things.

And when you have these reality show hosts, like Donald Trump, who are hanging around with our presidential candidates, they are, by virtue of that, given some platform for seriousness, and they call for “revolution” on their Twitter accounts, after the president has been legitimately re-elected by the American people. It’s gotta be shut down by serious leaders in the Republican party, and it’s gotta be part of the policy going forward.”

On MSNBC, Schmidt called for 'civil war" in the GOP against Limbaugh and company:

The issue, though, we should separate the Donald Trump issue and other people like that from this. Now people calling for revolution in these extreme statements, when I talk about a civil war in the Republican Party, what I mean is it`s time for Republican elected leaders to stand up and to repudiate this nonsense, and to repudiate it directly.

There has been a culture of fear and intimidation that you are not a real conservative if you won`t -- you know, if you won`t, you know, stand -- if you stand up to these extreme statements. Whether it`s Rush Limbaugh calling that young lady a slut or a hundred other examples over the last four years, and you know, beginning tomorrow for the purposes of rebuilding a Republican Party, a strong Republican Party, the stuff should start being repudiated by responsible leaders.

Williams also encouraged David Gregory to explain how Republican orthodoxy just has to change:

GREGORY: It goes to the point of understanding that good governance is good politics, because that is what we expect of our leaders is that they govern. And I think this conversation...what that conversation is like in the Republican Party to reflect the fact that some of the orthodoxy in the Republican Party about taxes, about regulation, about the role of government – what role government should play, particularly in a distressed economy – that some of those things have to change.

It’s not just about whether Romney was the right candidate or whether he made some tactical or strategic mistakes. It’s about what the party believes about how it positions itself to an increasingly minority community that’s our country right now! And those kind of adjustment have to be made, and have been made. George W. Bush with regards to immigration reform and education. Jeb Bush made them. Marco Rubio. So there’s a lot of people in a position to speak to those communities, but they have to work through some of this orthodoxy.

It's one thing to acknowledge the obvious point that Republican have to do better with minority voters to win. It's another to insist them have to change their "orthodoxy" on taxes, regulation, and the size of government.

The Huffington Post noticed Williams grew agitated over Trump on the air: “Donald Trump, who has driven well past the last exit to relevance and peered into something closer to irresponsible here, is tweeting tonight.”

Earth to Williams: It's NBC that's making Trump a household name, and it's the "mainstream media" that are fascinated by everything he says because of their hatred of "birther" slurs. He might be irrelevant if you could ignore him, but you'd rather try and define him INTO the conservative firmament.
 

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis