CNBC provided coverage on the final two nights of the Republican National Convention and on Thursday, Squawk on the Street co-host and infamous GOP debate co-moderator Carl Quintanilla condemned Donald Trump’s mentioning of Americans being murdered by illegal immigrants because it reminded him of the Willie Horton ad from 1988.
Upon hearing a clip of Trump rail against illegal immigration, CNBC contributor and former Bush administration official Sara Fagen promptly pointed out that Trump “took every controversial thing he has said in this campaign and he doubled down on it in this speech tonight” as opposed to change his tone in a traditional pivot to the general election.
Out of the blue, Quintanilla interjected to drop the Willie Horton reference to chief Washington correspondent John Harwood: “Did — did it remind you of Willie Horton? There was some comparisons to that, taking about a specific case that resulted in the death of a young American?”
Harwood responded with a tasteless assertion that Council Bluffs, Iowa native Sarah Root (whom Trump specifically mentioned) died in “an automobile accident” and “not a murder” when the illegal immigrant in the case was driving drunk (i.e. what many would call manslaughter).
“So, again, he was manipulating emotions to try to fire up his base. I'm not sure when the fact checkers get through with this speech it’s going to fare very well,” Harwood whined.
Minutes earlier in giving initial thoughts about Trump’s acceptance speech, another disastrous GOP debate co-moderator in Harwood opined that Trump was speaking to “an angry voice...that spoke to the fears and frustrations of the core of his campaign which has been blue-collar, white voters.”
Agreeing with a previous point by Fagen about Trump needing to somehow expand his voting block, Harwood ruled that Trump is “hemorrhaging votes along white college-educated women” with the convention speech not coming across as “persuasive with those people who are not with him already.”
The relevant portions of the transcript from CNBC’s Republican National Convention coverage on July 21 can be found below.
CNBC’s Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican National Convention
July 21, 2016
11:35 p.m. Eastern
SARA FAGEN: Well, he did hit major points in this hall but I question whether he hit them outside of — anybody in Cleveland because he was dark, he was negative at times and he had a lot of fear in this speech and what Donald Trump needed to do was start to pivot and start to look to build a coalition that can help him win in November and I did not hear that in his speech tonight.
JOHN HARWOOD: Carl, he said I am your voice, to the voters he was talking to. It was angry voice. It was a voice that spoke to the fears and frustrations of the core of his campaign which has been blue-collar, white voters. The problem is, he’s got to, as Sara said, he's got to appeal beyond that group. He is hemorrhaging votes along white college-educated women. There was not a message in there that is likely to be persuasive with those people who are not with him already.
11:39 p.m. Eastern
FAGEN: He took every controversial thing he has said in this campaign and he doubled down on it in this speech tonight.
CARL QUINTANILLA: Did — did it remind you of Willie Horton? There was some comparisons to that, taking about a specific case that resulted in the death of a young American?
HARWOOD: Well, in particular, in the case that he cited, with Sarah Root, there was an automobile accident. That was not a murder. So, again, he was manipulating emotions to try to fire up his base. I'm not sure when the fact checkers get through with this speech it’s going to fare very well.
11:40 p.m. Eastern
KELLY EVANS: You know, so many people have described this as a dark speech and not, but if you read, I think 72 percent of the country thinks we're going in the wrong direction, arguably, it's fitting for the kind of dark and stormy and in a way scary world and whether that's because of incidents here inside our borders or what’s happening beyond our borders, there's a reason why even for a campaign that it's fundamentally striking with the optimism of making America great again, it's also painting what it sees as the reality of what this world has become.