MSNBC Panel Explodes after Rick Wilson Argues Hillary’s Running on Gender; Her Polls ‘Have Cratered’

During the Tuesday edition of MSNBC’s All In, tempers erupted when Republican strategist Rick Wilson told fellow panelists Cornell Belcher and Jess McIntosh of EMILY’s List that Hillary Clinton is campaigning on her gender as a mother/grandmother and despite that, her poll “numbers are cratering” on honesty and trustworthiness.

In a noteworthy moment prior to the verbal scuffle, McIntosh fretted that she wished she could root for Carly Fiorina in Wednesday night’s GOP debate, but won’t since “she's got the same exact agenda, this backwards looking agenda that the rest of them [her opponents] have, so I don't know how much of a real substantive distinction is going to be drawn.”

While McIntosh warned viewers that “it’s always a mistake to think of women as a monolithic voting block,” the abortion group spokeswoman did just that in arguing that women are most concerned about “gender issues” like abortion, birth control, and equal pay. While she “want[s] to be pulling for Carly” on Wednesday: 

The Republican Party desperately needs more women in it, but the bottom line is she's got the same exact agenda, this backwards looking agenda that the rest of them have, so I don't know how much of a real substantive distinction is going to be drawn because she's there although I'm glad she's there. 

The focus stayed on Fiorina for a few moments and in a brief quip, Wilson shot back at a point Belcher made about a Fiorina ad following in the footsteps of ones Hillary’s aired before: “Yeah, but Carly Fiorina is not running on the principle of elect me, I'm mommy and grandma.”

It was at that moment that the mood escalated with McIntosh declaring that such an assertion was “insane” and the scandal-ridden former secretary of state has been instead “talking about the policies that matter for women and families.”

With the three panelists and host Chris Hayes all shouting overtop of each other, Hayes scolded Wilson for stating what he did considering “all the things to say about Hillary Clinton.” Not to be denied, Wilson turned to Clinton’s sagging poll numbers:

Yeah, Hillary Clinton has retreated to her last read-out – Hillary has retreated to her last read-out which is all of this desperate attempt to recapture Democratic women voters who have all walked away from her this year because her numbers on honest and trustworthy have cratered.

In nearly identical fashion compared to his gender comments, Belcher, Hayes, and McIntosh did not take those remarks very well either. Despite the fact that the latest CBS News/New York Times poll showed her honesty and trusthworthy ratings are continuing to plummet, McIntosh ruled that “[n]one of this is even remotely true” and that she “just can't let that stand.”

As Wilson reiterated that Clinton’s “numbers have cratered,” Belcher managed to shout back that “that’s not true” and her “numbers have not cratered” as McIntosh responded with the claim that the former First Lady is “running 20 points than anyone else in the field with women.”

Reduced to a role on the sidelines, Hayes interjected to try and take back his host duties: “Hey, guys. Hey, will you all be quiet? It's my show. Hold on one second. Thank you very much. Okay?”

Hayes then sided with his fellow liberals Belcher and McIntosh in ruling that “[h]er numbers have not cratered” and “[a]ll Democratic women have not run away from,” but somehow “[s]he has lost significant support as the primary process has played out.”

The MSNBC host wrapped up All In’s opening segment with some gooey words for Clinton’s campaign and the “remarkably substantive” policy proposals they have released thus far:

I have to say, people talk about the desperation of the Hillary Clinton campaign, whether you think it's a good or bad campaign, e-mails hurting or not, the one thing about the campaign is, they have been rolling out policy after policy after policy and in fact, what's been remarkable to me is it's been again, you could say this is good or bad or she's up or down in the polls, but the way she's run this campaign so far has been remarkably substantive in terms of what they have been proposing.

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes on September 15 can be found below.

MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes
September 15, 2015
8:06 p.m. Eastern

EMILY’s LIST SPOKESWOMAN JESS MCINTOSH: I mean, it's always a mistake to think of women as a monolith thick voting block. Obviously, Democratic voters are very different than Republican women voters. That gets more dicey when you slide it by married or unmarried or women of color or Latinas, so saying we should see women reacting to this thing in X way is never lead to you a productive place. I think that having Carly on stage might mean that gender issues are raised and if I could ask questions of people on stage, I would be asking what they would do to update our workplace laws, to understand that women are 41 percent of bread winners now. I would be asking about reproductive health. I would be asking about how absolutely extreme they have gotten on just about every issue relating to women, what they would do end gender discrimination in pay. So, the fact she's there and we're talking about women's issues possibly because she's there I think is ultimately a really good thing for women looking to draw contrasts. I want to be pulling for Carly. The Republican Party desperately needs more women in it, but the bottom line is she's got the same exact agenda, this backwards looking agenda that the rest of them have, so I don't know how much of a real substantive distinction is going to be drawn because she's there although I'm glad she's there. 

(....)

RICK WILSON: Yeah, but Carly Fiorina is not running on the principle of elect me, I'm mommy and grandma.

CORNELL BELCHER: She just did an ad that basically said that.

HAYES: Rick, that is –

MCINTOSH: Look, the fact that Hillary Clinton is running on her gender is absolute, no, insane. She is talking about the policies that matter for women and families. 

HAYES: Rick, of all the things to say about Hillary Clinton who is –

WILSON: Yeah, Hillary Clinton has retreated to her last read-out – Hillary has retreated to her last read-out which is all of this desperate attempt to recapture Democratic women voters who have all walked away from her this year because her numbers on honest and trustworthy have cratered.

MCINTOSH: None of this is even remotely true. I’m so sorry. I just can't let that stand. 

HAYES: Wait, can I just –

WILSON: Her numbers are have cratered.

BELCHER: But that’s not true. 

HAYES: Wait. 

BELCHER: Hillary Clinton’s numbers have not cratered.

MCINTOSH: She’s running 20 points than anyone else in the field with women.

HAYES: Hey, guys. Hey, will you all be quiet? It's my show. Hold on one second. Thank you very much. Okay? 

MCINTOSH: Fair. 

HAYES: Her numbers have not cratered. All democratic women have not run away from. She has lost significant support as the primary process has played out, A. B, I have to say, people talk about the desperation of the Hillary Clinton campaign, whether you think it's a good or bad campaign, e-mails hurting or not, the one thing about the campaign is, they have been rolling out policy after policy after policy and in fact, what's been remarkable to me is it's been again, you could say this is good or bad or she's up or down in the polls, but the way she's run this campaign so far has been remarkably substantive in terms of what they have been proposing. I don't know if it's good politics or not, but the one thing they haven't done is anything stunty and in fact, I think to turn this around, you could make the argument they could probably use more stunt casting.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Double Standards Polling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Sexuality Feminism MSNBC All In Video Jess McIntosh Chris Hayes Cornell Belcher Hillary Clinton Carly Fiorina
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