On Friday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough criticized the Republican Party’s tone on race, tying it to the party’s lackluster performance among certain ethnic groups.
“It’s also tone,” Scarborough said. “It’s how you do it. You know, I’m sure you and I would not agree on everything as it relates to also all social issues but we can sit down and talk. The problem is, everything is so confrontational and there’s so many extremes. And for you, it may be an issue where you support me on marriage equality or I’m not voting Republican. For other gay and lesbian voters, that’s important, but just talk to me. Have a dialog. Don’t disrespect me. For me economic issues are the most important. For somebody, you know, for somebody — I mean, and it’s the same thing with Hispanics. The idea that Hispanics all are going to move in one direction or another based on where you stand on immigration reform — it’s overly simplistic. Same thing for African-Americans.”
Scarborough said his point was especially true regarding the line some Republicans had taken on the George Zimmerman trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. But Scarborough admittedly himself had not been a rational voice during unfolding of the Zimmerman case, having attacked local authorizes and called Zimmerman a “murderer” back in March 2012, long before the trial.
“You take — and we brought up Trayvon, you take Trayvon Martin, it would have cost Republican leaders absolutely nothing, Ed Rendell, absolutely nothing, to just show a little respect and show a little bit of sympathy,” he continued. “And speak out against the most extreme elements. Supporting George Zimmerman before they even knew the facts of the case. Now, again, you know, I got out early. I said some things about George Zimmerman myself I shouldn’t have said, perhaps. I got overly emotional. But I’m not in office and if I were in office I would have apologized. The thing is, there are so many of these issues, so many of these social issues, so many of these racial issues — it doesn’t cost you anything to be compassionate. It doesn’t cost you anything to not whip up your base into a fury.”
That according to the “Morning Joe” host is what sends the message to minorities that the GOP is a political party exclusively for white people.
“It doesn’t cost you anything to stay off of talk radio or to stay off of primetime cable news shows where you get in the middle of this divisive debate and send a message to African-Americans and other minorities you really don’t care. Not only did we get slaughtered among African-Americans, we got slaughtered among Hispanic-Americans and most frightening for Republicans, we even got beaten pretty badly among Asian-Americans. The Republican Party right now is sending out signals: If you’re not white, you’re really not welcome in this party. And by the way, people are going to get mad at me for saying it, look at the numbers from 2012. We could do things that don’t cost us a lot. We’re not even doing it.”