Pompous Chuck Todd Insists He’s Someone Who Doesn’t ‘Live in Partisan Places’

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Once again, pompous leftist, MSNBC host, NBC News political director, and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd cloaked himself as someone who’s above the fray on Wednesday’s MTP Daily, insisting that he’s like “a lot of us who — who don’t live in partisan places.” 

Todd’s delusional take simultaneously occurred while decrying Republicans as the ones playing political games by criticizing President Trump on Syria but opposing his impeachment.

 

 

Speaking to NBC White House correspondent Geoff Bennett on the bipartisan opposition to Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds, Todd played his old, worn card of decrying partisanship but in actuality laying waste to only Republicans (click “expand”):

TODD: And — and this is where, of course, I think a lot of us who — who don't live in partisan places are trying to understand how is it that they don't see Syria and Ukraine as connected? That Repub — congressional Republicans continue to try to keep those separate when Russia certainly sees it, you know, their number one interest in destabilizing the United States was to get — us to get out of their space in their minds when it came to Ukraine and Syria. 

BENNETT: Yeah. I don't have a good answer for you on that one because you're right, If lawmakers are going to be intellectually honest, you would think they would ding the President on both fronts. Of course, on the impeachment issue, Republicans could make the larger argument that it suits their purposes, you know, from a 30,000 foot level to have a Republican in the White House who would do their bidding on major policy and agenda items. That sort of thing. They see it as sort of a separate and discrete issue apart from the Syria one, But yeah, you make a good point. 

TODD: Well, and especially with the way they speak about the Syria problem, they put it in almost apocalyptic terms, So it is hard to see how they square their rhetoric with — with some of these actions.

Ah, yes. The guy who hosted a dinner party for then-Clinton official Jennifer Palmieri and whose wife’s business made nearly $2 million off the Bernie campaign. And that doesn’t even touch on his political roots as a Tom Harkin staffer or more recent declarations about climate change or partisan screeds about impeachment. But I digress.

Todd was still on this line of thinking when he brought in his panel and when he told former RNC chair Michael Steele that the President’s actions Wednesday made it more difficult for the GOP in their “rationalizing” of his policy on the Kurds, Syria, and Turkey. 

Steele predictably attacked his party as lacking the “require[d] level of moxie that we haven't seen from the leadership.”

Going to The Washington Post’s Eugene Scott, Todd went into apocalyptic territory, insisting that “it feels like we're entering dangerous territory here with how the President governs” compounded by his belief that Trump’s base has “an isolationist streak” that’s unconcerned with the world around them.

Scott responded like a fellow liberal hack would, seeming to mock Republicans for being pro-life and insufficiently opposing Trump’s latest moves:

Well, lives are on the line and you would think that the party that positions itself as a pro-life party would care that there are people on the ground who could literally lose their lives because of poor decision-making. 

After allusions to how evangelical leaders and politicians are uneasy with the President leaving the Kurds behind to clash with Turkish troops, Scott also seemed to question the legitimacy of the Christian beliefs those on the right hold because “when you combine that with — with the fact that this administration has decreased the number of refugees that it's going to bring in, including refugees suffering from religious persecution, it just doesn't make sense.”

And before going to a commercial break, the panel mocked Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for being a Trump ally (click “expand”):

TODD: Do you expect any Republicans here to sort of change their behavior based on this decision? I mean, Lindsey Graham. I don't know. Every hour, he change — he was — today, he was a windmill. 

STEELE: Right. 

TODD: I guess — or excuse me. What is it? A weathervane. Cause literally, 9:00 a.m., he'd be at one place. 11, then, you know, he was back.

STEELE: Right because he's trying to figure out how does he stay on the right side of Trump? 

TODD: And still push Trump. 

STEELE: And still push Trump. And that space doesn't exist. Sorry. 

ELROD: Right. 

STEELE: It just doesn't exist. Sorry, Lindsey, but I have to.

TODD: I think it's a wormhole. 

STEELE: It’s a wormhole.

TODD: It's a wormhole. If he finds the space —

ELROD: It’s like, “how did I get stuck —

STEELE: You're stuck in it.

TODD: Right.

ELROD: How do I get invited back to the golf course —

TODD: Right.

ELROD: — with Donald Trump? That's what he's looking for. 

TODD: Alright, Good luck.

At the end of the day, it could be somewhat factually accurate that Chuck Todd doesn’t live in a “partisan” place. After all, Todd lives in Arlington County, Virginia, which is a dark blue, one-party county. In 2016, Arlington voters gave 75.8 percent of the vote for Hillary Clinton to only 16.6 percent for Donald Trump.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s MTP Daily on October 16, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s MTP Daily
October 16, 2019
5:09 p.m. Eastern

SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I will do anything I can to help him but I will also become President Trump's worst nightmare. I will not settle on the sidelines and watch a good ally, the Kurds, be slaughtered by Turkey and watch Iran move into Syria and become another nightmare for Israel. This is a defining moment for President Trump. He needs to up his game. 

CHUCK TODD: Alright. That was an emotional Lindsey Graham. I would play my next clip here of Mitch McConnell. It lacked the Lindsey Graham emotion but it's basically the same issue. What’s he doing? I disagree with him. This is a big problem, not a small one. 

GEOFF BENNETT: Yeah. 

TODD: But what are Republicans going to do? 

BENNETT: Remarkable comments from Lindsey Graham, President Trump's chief defender here on the Hill and his sometimes golfing partner. I mean, this presents quite a conundrum for congressional Republicans. Think of where we were just a day ago, Chuck. Just yesterday, you had most Republicans for the most part trying to shift gears away from a confrontation with President Trump over this Syria issue. You had top Republicans here working with top White House officials to work out some sort of sanctions package. The defense secretary was here answering congressional Republicans’ questions. There was this concerted effort to try to clean up this slow-rolling crisis. Although, most Republicans I've talked to have said you can probably never fully reverse all of the consequences, unintended and otherwise, in the region.

TODD: Yeah.

BENNETT: But that has changed remarkably today given the President's comments. So it's not just Lindsey Graham. It's also now senator Marcia Blackburn, who it turns out represents more Kurds in the U.S. Than any other senator. Some 15,000 Kurds there in Nashville and she says that the President's decision liberates ISIS and props up Assad. The other thing happening here, of course, we're talking about Syria, but the backdrop here of course is impeachment and I think the Syria issue gives Republicans cover really to criticize President Trump on this issue they've been reluctant to criticize him on his interaction with Ukraine’s president.. 

TODD: And — and this is where, of course, I think a lot of us who — who don't live in partisan places are trying to understand how is it that they don't see Syria and Ukraine as connected? That Repub — congressional Republicans continue to try to keep those separate when Russia certainly sees it, you know, their number one interest in destabilizing the United States was to get — us to get out of their space in their minds when it came to Ukraine and Syria. 

BENNETT: Yeah. I don't have a good answer for you on that one because you're right, If lawmakers are going to be intellectually honest, you would think they would ding the President on both fronts. Of course, on the impeachment issue, Republicans could make the larger argument that it suits their purposes, you know, from a 30,000 foot level to have a Republican in the White House who would do their bidding on major policy and agenda items. That sort of thing. They see it as sort of a separate and discrete issue apart from the Syria one, But yeah, you make a good point. 

TODD: Well, and especially with the way they speak about the Syria problem, they put it in almost apocalyptic terms, So it is hard to see how they square their rhetoric with — with some of these actions.

(....)

5:31 p.m. Eastern

TODD: Let's get right back to all this breaking news that happened today, which as I said a few minutes ago, is all in some ways connected. [INTRODUCES PANEL] Okay. Eugene, there’s a pattern here with the President and both the Ukraine story and the Syria story sort of evoked this, which is it begins with whatever you're accusing me of, it's not there and then a few days go by and we start to see he starts to say the same things he was accused of. Then at some point, he starts to say you're gosh darn right. That’s exactly what I plan to do. He is owning the Syria policy now in ways it didn't look like he was ready to even yesterday. 

EUGENE SCOTT: Yeah. I think it's in part, and we heard Lara Trump talk about this earlier. Not just daughter-in-law but advisor on the campaign say that Trump's team has spoken with people among the base. People who are connected to the President and they don't really care about this. This is not something that they're up in arms about. They believe that the President can do whatever he wants on areas of foreign policy as long as he fulfills the campaign promises, which at least leads towards bringing people back, which is what he told voters he was going to do. 

TODD: So you think that move stiffened his spine and that’s why we see this version of Trump.

SCOTT:  I think so. But also, in part because he's campaigning on promises kept. And we know he hasn't kept a lot of promises. And so I mean, he has to lean in on what he — what he can. What's left that may be — 

TODD: Something tangible. 

SCOTT: — something tangible and I think they believe a lot of the supporters will point to this as he is who he said he would be. 

TODD: Michael, I think the Republican Party. It seemed yesterday that the congressional version of the Republican Party was trying to work its way into rationalizing, “well, it's his call. If we can get him to sanction Turkey, let's rally around him on sanctioning Turkey” and they were getting comfortable and then — and then Trump said just as they're coming closer, he says, “uh-uh. No. No. No. I'm going to make it even harder.”

MICHAEL STEELE: Yeah. Yeah. 

TODD: So what do they do? Cause I think the only way to stop — to make him change his mind is he's got to think they might walk. 

STEELE: Well, that — that would require a level of moxie that we haven't seen from the leadership. So I — I — you know, on the foreign policy space, I think that's the one area where we've seen people actually start to push back rhetorically, but I don't know if internally they've really sat down with the President and go this is how damaging this is. This is how troublesome it is and this is the problem you're having inside the caucus. I just don't — at least from the folks I've talked to, I haven't gotten the sense they've gone there yet. 

TODD: They're not there. 

STEELE: They're not there yet. So look, Trump knows how to punk people every day and he does it expertly and they fall into it and they — and they — and they realize, to your point after the fact, I just got punked again and so at some point, you got to realize enough's enough and — 

TODD: Does it every time. 

STEELE: — does it every time.

TODD: So I get why the leadership walked out. We are getting to a point where it just feels ungovernable. 

ADRIENNE ELROD: Yeah. Well, remember, Chuck, in 2016 when Hilary Clinton said time and time again President Trump or Donald Trump at the time is temperamentally unfit to be our President. We are seeing now this come to a manifestation. I mean, he cannot have a normal meeting with Nancy and Chuck. They have to keep walking out because he's so irrational. 

TODD: He walked out of there — a meeting once, too, I think, by the way, if I’m not mistaken.

STEELE: Yeah. 

ELROD: Yeah.

SCOTT: Yeah. He left them in the hallways.

TODD: Right, where he did that and he’s played game.

ELROD: Exactly. There's not — there's not a civil discourse and we're also dealing with a President who not only has a fundamental lack of understanding when it comes to foreign policy but doesn't care to know. I don't even think he realizes the relationship that the United States has had with the Kurds for so long and why that relationship was so important to protecting our own safety here at home. I'm not sure that he truly understands that very basic fundamental policy. 

TODD: Eugene, it feels like we're entering dangerous territory here with how the President governs. I mean, I have no doubt that the President's base is like, what do I give a darn? That's somebody else's fight. You know, there's sort of an isolationist streak. 

SCOTT: Right. 

TODD: That's, like, governing by that, that's dangerous. 

SCOTT: Absolutely. 

TODD: Where's the — you know, how do — wrap our arms around this one?

SCOTT: Well, lives are on the line and you would think that the party that positions itself as a pro-life party would care that there are people on the ground who could literally lose their lives because of poor decision-making. 

TODD: Well, somebody — I think Marsha Blackburn turn on this is something that is probably unexpected to people. Here's somebody who I think embraced the Trump sort of philosophy but Kurds are her constituents and I — you know, I think her Christianity means a lot to her. 

SCOTT: And that's why we've seen some of the most vocal leaders or critics of Trump be evangelical leaders. 

ELROD: Exactly.

SCOTT: A group we haven't really seen push back on Trump on all kinds of things, especially in the areas of morals. But when you talk about the Middle East, when you talk about missions and the holy land and — and places and arguments and — and — and disagreements that are — are mentioned in scripture, you're seeing people who say these decisions actually require way more thought than what we're seeing. 

TODD: I'll be curious to see what — what — what Fallwell does because his job has always been he's protector of the President. He always provides him cover 

STEELE: Right.

TODD: — when other evangelical leaders start to waver because they start to look at the policy. You know, Fallwell has clearly made a political decision here. I wonder if he walks on this. 

STEELE: Yeah, I think — I think — I think to a certain degree, probably will and the reason is there is this sense when it comes to the Middle East about the persecution and, you know, the wholesale effort to eliminate Christians and so they — they're very sensitive to that and they don't, you know, with the release of all of the ISIS family members and — and — and former terrorists now back out on the street, if you will —

TODD: Right.

STEELE: — they know that there is a ripple effect that sort of re-energizes this sort of anti-Christian sentiment that is pervasive throughout parts of the Middle East. 

TODD: This is what animates Mike Pompeo. 

STEELE: Exactly. 

TODD: This is what makes — I have to say — it, you know, religious freedom issues and Christian persecution. This is something that has been near and dear to his heart of working on those issues. 

STEELE: Very much so. 

TODD: It’s so weird to see it.

SCOTT: But when you combine that with — with the fact that this administration has decreased the number of refugees that it's going to bring in —

ELROD: Right.

SCOTT: — including refugees suffering from religious persecution, it just doesn't make sense. It seems inconsistent and it's hurting many of the -- 

ELROD: Because they don't have consistent policy on anything. I mean, there's not a communication going on between various offices and various agencies, which is exactly why you're seeing this dichotomy. 

(....)

5:38 p.m. Eastern

TODD: Do you expect any Republicans here to sort of change their behavior based on this decision? I mean, Lindsey Graham. I don't know. Every hour, he change — he was — today, he was a windmill. 

STEELE: Right. 

TODD: I guess — or excuse me. What is it? A weathervane. Cause literally, 9:00 a.m., he'd be at one place. 11, then, you know, he was back.

STEELE: Right because he's trying to figure out how does he stay on the right side of Trump? 

TODD: And still push Trump. 

STEELE: And still push Trump. And that space doesn't exist. Sorry. 

ELROD: Right. 

STEELE: It just doesn't exist. Sorry, Lindsey, but I have to.

TODD: I think it's a wormhole. 

STEELE: It’s a wormhole.

TODD: It's a wormhole. If he finds the space —

ELROD: It’s like, “how did I get stuck —

STEELE: You're stuck in it.

TODD: Right.

ELROD: How do I get invited back to the golf course —

TODD: Right.

ELROD: — with Donald Trump? That's what he's looking for. 

TODD: Alright, Good luck.

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