Cross, MSNBC Republicans Declare GOP Women, Minorities Tokens

News & Politics

Saturday’s edition of The Cross Connection with Tiffany Cross was a combination of outrageous and tragic as Republican women and minorities were accused of being tokens by former RNC chair Michael Steele and former GOP strategist Lucy Caldwell. Both missed the fact that their host is the same kind of person who would lobby such accusations at them not that long ago.

Steele was alluding to Cross’s question about candidates such as Herschel Walker when he declared, “you can’t just go out with blackface and black skin and start talking stuff that is not resonating in the black community, or the Hispanic community, or the community that they come from beyond the politics and I think that is the part of the cynical nature of politics that for me, inside of the party for years, has been so offensive and, you know, various times and many ways tried to correct and we had some success in that, but that’s not where we are now.”

Walker is currently facing the same attacks that Steele used to get as RNC chairman and instead of defending Walker against Cross’s virtual, he is joining her.

Naturally, this meant Cross agreed, “Yeah, and I think you make such a good point. It’s the policies, not that people. So, sending someone out to perpetuate your racist policies, but because you put a person of color out there, it’s not going to resonate.”  

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Turning to Caldwell, Cross continued, “But Lucy, listen, it’s not just a racial component, here, there’s also a gender element here and so they’re all men. They, you know, kicked Liz Cheney out of the boys club. So, I just wonder, when it comes to what we talked about in Georgia, Brian Kemp, white women outpaced white men in terms of voting Brian Kemp when he was talking anti-choice policies then.”

She then wondered, “how do you think they– the conservative voting white women, how do you think they reconcile their choices when the party does not even look like them or reflect their interest sometimes?”

Caldwell didn’t initially answer the question, instead choosing to lament the existence of Sens. Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. When she did get around to answering, she declared, “there’s a, I don’t want to say tokenism, but there is a absolute attitude of “what can I do to make middle class white people feel comfortable with what we’re doing here, right?” 

After Cross expressed greater comfort with the word “tokenism,” Caldwell dropped her hesitation about the word, “That is tokenism, right? So, ‘I’m a woman, don’t worry, I am anti-abortion.’”

With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?

Following Cross comparing pro-life women to black people who oppose affirmative action, Caldwell continued, lamenting “I think that the problem comes at the ballot box where whether or not we like it, some of these GOP candidates are resonating with those very audiences, right? There’s new news this week out of Florida that Ron DeSantis, no friend of people of color, and certainly no friend of women, may win Miami-Dade County and become the first Republican governor in Florida in 20 years to carry Miami-Dade, right?”

When Republicans nominate white men, the media asks where are the women and minorities and when they do nominate women and minorities, the media accuses them of being tokens.

This segment was sponsored by Chevrolet

Here is a transcript for the October 22 show:

MSNBC The Cross Connection with Tiffany Cross

10/22/2022

11:29 PM ET

MICHAEL STEELE: You framed it correctly. Yeah, I can put a person of color out there. And say hey, they’re part of our team, but when they open their mouths, do the team that they are on hear them? Number one. And the team you want to put them in front of to pretend that there is some kind of connection, do they accept them? 

Because you can’t just go out with blackface and black skin and start talking stuff that is not resonating in the black community, or the Hispanic community, or the community that they come from beyond the politics and I think that is the part of the cynical nature of politics that for me, inside of the party for years, has been so offensive and, you know, various times and many ways tried to correct and we had some success in that, but that’s not where we are now. 

TIFFANY CROSS: Yeah, and I think you make such a good point. It’s the policies, not that people. So, sending someone out to perpetuate your racist policies, but because you put a person of color out there, it’s not going to resonate. 

But Lucy, listen, it’s not just a racial component, here, there’s also a gender element here and so they’re all men. They, you know, kicked Liz Cheney out of
the boys club. So, I just wonder, when it comes to what we talked about in Georgia, Brian Kemp, white women outpaced white men in terms of voting Brian Kemp when he was talking anti-choice policies then. 

So, I wonder, how do you think they– the conservative voting white women, how do you think they reconcile their choices when the party does not even look like them or reflect their interest sometimes? 

LUCY CALDWELL: Oh, that’s right, I mean, we were talking about people of color, in the U.S. Senate, your three senators of color are Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz, right? 

CROSS: Yeah, well, Maize Hirono, Senator Maize Hirono, I want to include her.

CALDWELL: Of Republicans. 

CROSSL Oh, forgive me, I was going to say, Bob Menendez – never mind. My apologies. 

CALDWELL: We’re starting at a baseline that’s not great. 

CROSS: Yeah.

CALDWELL: In terms of, I think, the whole strategy among Republicans, whether it’s among candidates or among electeds once they get is there’s a, I don’t want to say tokenism, but there is a absolute attitude of “what can I do to make middle class white–

CROSS: Yeah.

CALDWELL: — people feel comfortable with what we’re doing here, right?” 

CROSS: Yeah, tokenism on some level. 

CALDWELL: That is tokenism, right? So, “I’m a woman, don’t worry, I am anti-abortion.—

CROSS: Yeah.

CALDWELL: — and I would never–,” right?

CROSS: “I’m black, but I’m anti-affirmative action.”

CALDWELL: “I’m back–. “Exactly, right? 

CROSS: Yeah.

CALDWELL: Every single one across the board. I think that the problem comes at the ballot box where whether or not we like it, some of these GOP candidates are resonating with those very audiences, right? 

CROSS: Yeah.

CALDWELL: There’s new news this week out of Florida that Ron DeSantis, no friend of people of color, and certainly no friend of women, may win Miami-Dade County and become the first Republican governor in Florida in 20 years to carry Miami-Dade, right?

CROSS: Wow.

CALDWELL: And so, I think we have to make the distinction of GOP candidates, who absolutely are not doing any favors for those constituencies, whether it’s women, or communities of color, but also whether or not, on the other side, we are doing a good enough job of talking to women. 

But, we’ve had discussions about white women– let’s put white women aside for the moment—

CROSS: Okay, okay.

CALDWELL:– but Hispanics—

CROSS: Yeah.

CALDWELL: — black and brown voters—

CROSS: Yeah.

CALDWELL: –to say, we see you, we don’t take you for granted and we’re going to provide a contrast point to what you are hearing from these GOP candidates who are not in your corner—

CROSS: Yeah.

CALDWELL: –whatsoever. 

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