Martin Bashir | February 11, 2013
>> let's get right to our panel now. i'm joined by steve kornacki, my colleague, ven vogel is the chief investigative reporter at politico and the great goldie contributor. welcome to all of you. steve , i want to talk about this piece in "the new republic." it's called why the gop is and will continue to be the party of white people . and it provides real historical context. i know you have seen it, too. how does a party which has traditionally at least over the last four years showns indifference, often times hostility towards minorities, suddenly change itself.
>> i don't see the path. i couldn't sit here right now and tell you if they do this, if they nominate this person and if they change this policy, problem solved , but there is a huge problem here. the 2012 elections pointed to it. the republican coalition as it exists right now is only going to continue to shrink unless they can make inroads with this sort of rising majority that president obama tapped into last year. the one cautionary note i would throw into all this is rick pearlsteen who wrote about the '60s and '70s, nixon, goldwater, the rise of the right, he had a piece last week where he talked about we have prematurely talked about the sort of demographic extinction of the republican party before. we did that specifically when lyndon johnson won re-election over goldwater in '64 and we were saying it was the demise of the rural voter. this country was -- the rural vote was sort of disappearing. this urbanization was going to make this inevitable, democratic majority. what ended up happening was suburbanites turned on the democrats and we got richard nixon . we can prematurely declare these things sometimes. a cautionary note.
>> goldie , the piece says today's gop is taking its cues from john calhoun and his belief in nullification. the idea that states can ignore federal law . he writes it's not a coincidence that the resurgence of nullification is happening while our first african- american president is in office. how du the gop reach out to a broader demographic when we see how it's treated this nation's first black president ?
>> that is the grand irony but the truth of the matter is they're not only hearkening back to calhoun, but they're playing the script of kevin phillips who was the chief architect of the southern strategy . this was the chaining together of those southern confederate states , those 11 states, with what was happening out west and up through the midwest, and he said at the time we can frankly do without manhattan. we can do without new york. we can do without chicago. we can do without all these major city that is were largely black and brown. the republican party today is still playing on that script. as we know with the demographic shifts, that's a losing proposition if you stay with it for so long. what they've done is instead, they have recruited some very able candidates, ted cruz , marco rubio , people of color who can carry the gop banner who are certainly absolute conservatives, but the issue is it is not who carries the banner. it's what that flag stands for. and unless and until the republican party does some real work, real hard look at its policy and just how, you know, the animosity they have had through black and brown communities, until they do that work i don't see a pathway back.
>> in another article roger says this about the president. i'm quoting him. he's too busy getting the middle class to hate rich people , blacks to hate whites. i'm now going to quote the third sentence, the third sentence of the president's inaugural address last month. what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin, nor the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. ken, didn't the election night teach republicans not to listen to what fox news is saying?
>> well, fox news incidentally is going through some of the same soul searching and sort of reimagining of itself as the republican party , and that's no coincidence. fox news obviously has come to be very helpful for republicans and in some ways to echo back some of their talking points , and in this story, in this interview that the new republic did with roger, he talks about the need to appeal towards hispanics in particular. there's a fox news website that's devoted to the latino audience and they're talking about potentially doing some streaming video. so this is not insignificant. i don't think we can just brush aside either what fox news is doing or what the republican party is doing. it's going to be a painful process for them to do some of the real sort of repositioning that goldie is talking about they're needing to do to be competitive. i'm talking both about the republican party and to a lesser extent fox news. there are forces within both that don't want to see a whole lot of change and they are going to stamp their feet loudly if they see a significant redirection. but at least in the case of the republican party it seems as if there is a significant internal push for that and a belief that that is what is necessary in order to be competitive going forward into 2014 and 2016 .
>> goldie , let me play you something a republican strategist said on the sunday talk shows about why the gop 's future is actually quite bright, and as you just said it in a word, rubio. take a listen.
>> marco rubio does seem to be rising to the top of the heap right now.
>> yeah. look, he's everything we need and more. he's modern. he knows who tupac is.
>> okay, goldie . if you say you listen to tupac, you understand black people , is that right?
>> that's just a very, very challenging statement to make. marco rubio certainly is a good politician and he's a very, very good conservative. he stands right on all of the issues where it is necessary. he meets and exceeds the so-called litmus test, but to say that marco rubio on his own can bring hispanics back into the republican party is frankly just a misnomer. if you look at elections across the country where we had white versus nonwhite candidates, white candidates were drawing just as high of numbers as hispanic and black voters. so i don't believe that the race of the candidate alone is enough of a lure. maybe it opens the conversation, but if the messages are wrong, certainly the conversation ends very quickly and we've seen that with an ausm lot of candidates who have carried the republican banner who have come from diverse communities.
>> as we think, steve , about someone like marco rubio , marco rubio voted against raising the debt ceiling. marco rubio supported governor rick scott 's voter suppression tactics in florida. yes, he's hispanic but what about the content of his policies?
>> what goldie is saying is true. race after race there, was ted cruz in texas, brian sandoval , where the republicans have nominated hispanic candidates, they have not suddenly seen in these races a surge in support among hispanic voters. they are performing about the same as any other republican candidate would. the opportunity and the risk for republicans really lies i think among hispanic voters. they have not seriously competed for the african-american vote at the national level since before 1964 . they got wiped out. they never again nominated an anti- civil rights candidate, but their relationship with black voters was basically poisoned in 1964 . the risk is over the last few years, prefecture with rejeespecially with rejecting immigration, they have alienated latino voters.
>> steve kornacki, ken vogel, and goldie taylor, thank you all