Concerned MSNBC: Best Hope for GOP Women Is Trump Losing in 2020

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The media has long running tradition of advising the Republican Party that their best way to attract female voters and candidates for federal office is to stop being Republicans. The context for the latest edition of this "advice" was a New York Times op-ed by historian Nancy Cohen where she described Republican women as "on the brink of extinction." Naturally, there was strong pushback to Cohen's thesis, leading to an appearance on MSNBC Live on Thursday to talk about it.

After playing a clip of RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Fox responding to Cohen's op-ed, guest host Ayman Mohyeldin asked Cohen about McDaniel's criticisms, "What is your response to the fact that she is saying 181 women, I believe, are running in 2020 and whether or not they are actually reflective of the diversity of women across the country?"

 

 

Cohen's initial response was to caution McDaniel to wait until after the election to celebrate such proclamations, but then argued that it is in Republican women's best interest for the Republican president to lose in November, "But, I really think the issue is, that if Republican women, the best hope for them is if Trump loses in 2020. That gives them the opportunity to pivot and rebuild. But given Trump's unpopularity with women, if he wins, the future looks very, very bleak for Republican women going forward." 

What would that rebuilding look like? For that Mohyeldin turned to Susan Del Percio, a nominal Republican who previously worked for Andrew Cuomo.

Mohyeldin asked Del Percio, "Where do you see yourself today?" Del Percio started by going to a condemnation of  the Republican Party under Trump, "abandoned by my party, because they are falling lockstep behind President Trump and that's the biggest problem and the biggest turnoff for Republican women to run for office as well as Republican women voters."

But a condemnation of Trump then quickly turned into a condemnation of the Republican Party under President Bush, "When President Bush was elected in 2004, we saw a major turn, Republican women became much more independent, they turned against the Republican Party."

She then agreed with Cohen and bizarrely argued that Republicans and Democrats care about the same things, "This is the biggest, though, that will be the hardest to survive, as Nancy said, if Donald Trump is in fact re-elected president. Republican women care about the same issues as Democratic women and men and independents. They look at pocketbook issues. But what they don't want to do is be pigeonholed and defined by the extreme vision of a few men, frankly."

Del Percio revealed this isn't really about Trump, but about a supposed lack of moderation, "If you're more moderate and potentially more appealing to independent and suburban women, then you can't -- if you're moderate, you're not going to win the primary even though you have a better shot at winning the general election and being elected." 

Here is a transcript for the January 2 show:

MSNBC

MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin

11:51 AM ET

AYMAN MOHYELDIN: What is your response to the fact that she is saying 181 women, I believe, are running in 2020 and whether or not they are actually reflective of the diversity of women across the country? 

NANCY COHEN: Right. Well, I think she might want to wait until the votes are in in November before she starts bragging about it. At the moment, there are more Democratic women running for Congress and other offices than there are Republican women. And Republicans in 2018, Republican women, had a 3% win rate. A lot of those races are lean Democrat or are a toss-up. Sure, there may be some additional Republican women in the House in 2018. I don't think we'll see double digits. But, I really think the issue is, that if Republican women, the best hope for them is if Trump loses in 2020. That gives them the opportunity to pivot and rebuild. But given Trump's unpopularity with women, if he wins, the future looks very, very bleak for Republican women going forward. 

MOHYELDIN: Alright, lucky for us, we have a Republican woman here on-set. We’re going to pose that question to you. First off the bat, as a Republican woman who is not a supporter, not a fan of President Trump, where do you see yourself today? 

SUSAN DEL PERCIO: Umm, abandoned by my party, because they are falling lockstep behind President Trump and that's the biggest problem and the biggest turnoff for Republican women to run for office as well as Republican women voters. Now, this isn't the first time we've seen this. I've been doing this for 30 years. Back in the late '90s we saw some women being elected-- Republican women being elected. Through the late '90s, early 2000s. When President Bush was elected in 2004, we saw a major turn, Republican women became much more independent, they turned against the Republican Party. So it does happen in cycles. This is the biggest, though, that will be the hardest to survive, as Nancy said, if Donald Trump is in fact re-elected president. Republican women care about the same issues as Democratic women and men and independents. They look at pocketbook issues. But what they don't want to do is be pigeonholed and defined by the extreme vision of a few men, frankly. And that's what Donald Trump has done. So, when you look at especially suburban women, the way they're voting, they're voting against Donald Trump because -- and that's why you don't see Republican women running in suburban areas because they don't support the agenda. And you can't run for a higher office as a Republican if you can't survive a primary. If you're more moderate and potentially more appealing to independent and suburban women, then you can't -- if you're moderate, you're not going to win the primary even though you have a better shot at winning the general election and being elected.   

 

 
NB Daily Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Nancy Cohen Ayman Mohyeldin Susan Del Percio Donald Trump

 

 
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