Chuck Todd Warns: ‘Every Republican’ Must ‘Fear for Their Political Lives’

Appearing on NBC’s Today Wednesday morning to react to Democrat Doug Jones winning the Alabama special election for Senate, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd spun that the defeat of scandal-plagued Republican Roy Moore was not just a “one-off” and even bizarrely claimed that Democratic losses earlier in the year were a sign of building political momentum on the left.

Co-host Savannah Guthrie began the discussion by wondering: “Chuck, a Democrat wins the Senate in Alabama, you haven’t said that in two decades. How did he do it?” In his rambling reply, Todd argued:

He did it on the backs of a bunch of things. Number one, you had to have what happened, which was Republican disunity. That helped. He had massive Democratic enthusiasm. In many ways, we saw the same thing in Alabama that we saw in Virginia, where the blue areas just turned out in higher numbers than the red areas.

 

 

Amazingly, the fact that Moore was accused of groping a 14-year-old girl and having inappropriate relationships with multiple other teenage girls never factored in to any of Todd’s analysis of the election outcome.

Guthrie followed up: “Now Republicans have to be asking themselves, is this a one-off, is this a candidate who was flawed, or is this a sign of what could happen in the 2018 midterms?” Rather than blame Moore for the loss, Todd had someone else in mind:

First of all, Donald Trump is political toxin, period. Look at the year throughout. You have to go through – this is not a one-off. Let’s start – this started in Kansas, in Montana, in Georgia, there were all these special elections. And Democrats didn’t win them, but they were over-performing by 10 and 15 points. Democratic enthusiasm, Trump problems.

In the Kansas congressional special election, Republican Ron Estes defeated Democrat James Thompson by seven points, 52.5% to 45.7%. In Montana, Republican Greg Gianforte won by six points, 50.2% to 44.1%. In Georgia, Republican Karen Handel won by nearly four points against Democrat Jon Ossoff, 51.9% to 48.1%. In each race, the GOP candidate broke 50% and won by at least a few points, hardly razor-thin margins.

Todd concluded: “If Trump can’t get a 50% job approval in Alabama, if he can't carry over his candidate in Alabama, every Republican in the country this morning needs to wake up and fear for their political lives.”

Later in 9 a.m. ET hour, on Megyn Kelly Today, Todd again laid the blame for Moore’s defeat on Trump: “Donald Trump has proven he can’t control his base. He tried to for Luther Strange, it didn’t work. And he can’t close the deal at the end.” However, unlike her fellow NBC hosts, Megyn Kelly called him out by pointing to the extremely unique circumstances of the Alabama race: “Well, but Roy Moore was an exceptionally bad candidate. I mean, it’s like, you don’t always have a guy who’s accused of molesting 14-year-old’s running on the ticket.”

 

 

Todd acknowledged that fact, but was undeterred in pushing his theory that even Democratic losses were signs of success for the party:

But Megyn, if Alabama was the only special election we had this year as evidence, I’d say, “Okay, fair point. You can chalk it up to Roy Moore.” But we’ve had places – you know, we’ve had special elections all over the country this year. Mike Pompeo is at CIA, we had a special to fill [his seat], all these ruby red places. Democrats came close in Kansas, came close in Montana, came close in Georgia. And you saw a building –  

Kelly interrupted: “Coming close means losing.”

Todd tried to defend his assertion: “However, though, it was getting closer. It was getting closer and you saw this Democratic enthusiasm.”

Instead of accepting the Alabama special election as just that, special, Todd couldn’t resist the urge to make grand pronouncements of Republican doom and even rewrite history to spin Democratic defeats as hidden victories.     

Todd’s biased analysis was brought to viewers by JCPenney, GMC, and Crest.

Here are transcripts of Todd’s December 13 appearances:

Today
7:05 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: And Chuck Todd is with us now, moderator of Meet the Press. Chuck, a Democrat wins the Senate in Alabama, you haven’t said that in two decades. How did he do it?

CHUCK TODD: He did it on the backs of a bunch of things. Number one, you had to have what happened, which was Republican disunity. That helped. He had massive Democratic enthusiasm. In many ways, we saw the same thing in Alabama that we saw in Virginia, where the blue areas just turned out in higher numbers than the red areas. And even – and that’s why early on in the night, it looked like everybody’s thinking, “Oh, boy, this is gonna break the way Alabama normally breaks, Moore’s gonna narrowly win.” And instead, you realize, no, the suburban vote, essentially these moderate Republicans, did show up and they voted against Roy Moore. Whether they voted for Jones or not, I don’t know. But they certainly voted against Moore.

HODA KOTB: How important were women in this race, do you think?

TODD: Look, I think women weren’t – it certainly was important, there was a big gender gap here. But it was African-American women that provided a big margin. I mean, Roy Moore still won white women in Alabama by a very big margin. So, look, I think it had – the issue itself had an impact with the suburban voter, okay? I was down there. The people in Mobile, in Birmingham, in Huntsville, the three big cities in Alabama.

GUTHRIE: Now Republicans have to be asking themselves, is this a one-off, is this a candidate who was flawed, or is this a sign of what could happen in the 2018 midterms?

TODD: First of all, Donald Trump is political toxin, period. Look at the year throughout. You have to go through – this is not a one-off. Let’s start – this started in Kansas, in Montana, in Georgia, there were all these special elections. And Democrats didn’t win them, but they were over-performing by 10 and 15 points. Democratic enthusiasm, Trump problems. And then all of a sudden, Virginia, the big explosion and a win, and now you see in Alabama. If Trump can’t get a 50% job approval in Alabama, if he can't carry over his candidate in Alabama, every Republican in the country this morning needs to wake up and fear for their political lives.

GUTHRIE: Chuck Todd, thank you. I know it was a late night for you, appreciate it.


Megyn Kelly Today
9:05 AM ET

(...)

CHUCK TODD: Who fears Donald Trump today on Capitol Hill? That’s the question I have. Donald Trump has proven he can’t control his base. He tried to for Luther Strange, it didn’t work. And he can’t close the deal at the end.

KELLY: Well, but Roy Moore was an exceptionally bad candidate.

TODD: No doubt.

KELLY: I mean, it’s like, you don’t always have a guy who’s accused of molesting 14-year-old’s running on the ticket.

TODD: But Megyn, if Alabama was the only special election we had this year as evidence, I’d say, “Okay, fair point. You can chalk it up to Roy Moore.” But we’ve had places – you know, we’ve had special elections all over the country this year. Mike Pompeo is at CIA, we had a special to fill [his seat], all these ruby red places. Democrats came close in Kansas, came close in Montana, came close in Georgia. And you saw a building –  

KELLY: Coming close means losing.

TODD: However, though, it was getting closer. It was getting closer and you saw this Democratic enthusiasm. And then we saw Virginia and then the unthinkable happened there. They got such a huge Democratic turnout, they almost flipped that state house of delegates. First time that that had happened in a long time.

KELLY: And so now the – the losing, coming close, is turning into winning.

TODD: Now it’s turning into winning.

(...)


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