Andrea Mitchell Compares Trump and George Wallace Voters, 'I've Seen This Before'

On Friday's Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, as guest and NBC host Chuck Todd attempted to psychoanalyze Donald Trump supporters, host Mitchell compared Trump voters to those who supported segregationist Alabama Democratic Governor George Wallace in the 1968 presidential campaign, as she and Todd both suggested that Trump supporters believe America was "great" when it was more "majority white."

After recalling Trump voters' frustrations on several issues, Todd continued:

And so, this is a, they feel like outsiders. They feel as if the political system has made them the outsiders, and they used to be, in their minds, part of the, you know. Remember, there's part of Trump's message: "Make America great. Again." The "again" is the code word. The "again" is the-

Mitchell jumped in to inject race:

It used to be majority white, and it's no longer ours.

Todd, host of NBC's Meet the Press, agreed as he added:

Right. It used to be a high school education got you the good job. And it used to be you could move up there. There's a lot of, I want to get, it's the "used to be's," it's the "again's," that's what it, it's the same group, it's the same group of people. They're susceptible, they're susceptible to the race, they're susceptible to the race arguments.

Mitchell then harkened back to her days of covering George Wallace in the 1968 presidential campaign:

But there is a subterranean text. I, my first, Chuck, my first campaign in 1968, as a young reporter, was George Wallace. I've seen this before, my friend.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday, December 11, Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC:

12:05 p.m.

ANDREA MITCHELL: I'm going to tell you that the White House views the Trump Muslim ban as pure racism, and a number of them, senior officials saying, "This isn't surprising. We have seen growing racism over these last seven years." This is the way they are describing the criticisms of the President. Which may be a cop-out. It may be a combination of factors, but they see it as part of the subtext of American politics, reaction against this President.

CHUCK TODD: Well, I would take it in a slightly different direction. I've had this conversation with the same administration folks, similar administration folks who have made this argument. And I've pointed out, well, it's a certain group of voters who feel as if the government has let them down, Wall Street let them down, media has let them down, their own situation, corporate America has let them down. These folks, this is a working class people who don't have as good of a job as their parents had, and are wondering why. And the culture has changed dramatically around them in the last decade, when you think about some of the social changes.

And so, this is a, they feel like outsiders. They feel as if the political system has made them the outsiders, and they used to be, in their minds, part of the, you know.Remember, there's part of Trump's message: "Make America great. Again." The "again" is the code word. The "again" is the-

MITCHELL: It used to be majority white, and it's no longer ours.


TODD: Right. It used to be a high school education got you the good job. And it used to be you could move up there. There's a lot of, I want to get, it's the "used to be's," it's the "again's," that's what it, it's the same group, it's the same group of people.

MITCHELL: But there is a subterranean text. I, my first-

TODD: They're susceptible, they're susceptible to the race, they're susceptible to the race arguments.

MITCHELL: Chuck, my first campaign in 1968, as a young reporter, was George Wallace.

TODD: This is the same strength.

MITCHELL: I've seen this before, my friend.


TODD: There's no doubt, they're susceptible to it. The point is, though, what's the root? The root is economic distress, okay? That's the root here. And that's why Republicans and Democrats should both be very careful: Don't condescend to these voters. These voters are economically hurting. Now, Trump's giving them somebody to lash out at. The Chinese are the ones taking your jobs. The immigrants, they're taking your jobs. The Muslims are making you insecure. He's using different tactics that resonates with this group of voters, but, at its root, it's both a cultural and economic frustration change that's hit them.

2016 Presidential Economy Conservatives & Republicans Race Issues Racism Religion Islam Andrea Mitchell Chuck Todd Donald Trump Barack Obama George Wallace