Joy Reid: Racial Resentment a Key to Trump's Electoral Success

The MSNBC host suggests Trump voters harbor racist views

June 25, 2019

MSNBC host Joy Reid on Tuesday claimed President Donald Trump was able to win the 2016 presidential election because of his racist supporters, saying they had resentment against African Americans and Muslims.

Reid appeared on MSNBC's Live with host Ali Velshi, where she discussed her new book, The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story. Velshi argued people in the Trump administration "know that it's wrong" what Trump is doing on the southern border but do nothing to halt the administration's immigration policies.

Reid suggested the only reason President Trump was electorally successful was due to his immigration policies and his supporters's fear of ongoing demographic changes in the country.

"The reason Donald Trump is president even though he didn't win a majority of the vote, but the reason he was able to get over that hump is immigration full-stop and it's a resentment that people who voted for Donald Trump feel about the changing need for this country," Reid told Velshi.

"The people like you, Ali, and myself are emerging into a majority and every time they are reminded of that, which they were in 1998 and again by the census bureau in 2008 as Barack Obama was running," she continued. "It pricks a certain sense of panic in a lot of people and Donald Trump has responded to that panic by saying, 'I have got you. I will take care of you. I'll get rid of them. I'll get rid of the Muslims. I won't let them come."

Velshi followed up to ask Reid whether Trump voters felt this way because of economic issues, asking if they were afraid immigrants were taking their jobs, prompting Reid to say economically struggling white voters were more likely to support Hillary Clinton. Velshi appeared shocked by Reid's analysis on Trump voters being more affluent, saying he sees the world through an "economic lens."

"If it's economic, we could solve that because we're not actually short of resources and money, but if you're telling me it's something else, how do you solve that?" Velshi asked.

"It's the pride of place. It's a sense among these voters that there's a pride of place to being a white Christian, especially a white Christian man, that there was after World War II when we were the hero of the world all the way up until a guy named Barack Obama came along and suddenly over the objections of a majority of white voters he gets elected by 10 million votes and then they object to him even more and he gets reelected by five million votes," Reid said.

She went on to claim white voters who support Trump do not want to share power with minorities.

"If it was economics, you could just do an economic program, but it's not. It's something more existential. It's demographic panic and Donald Trump is offering them an answer," Reid said.

She later suggested there may be some Trump supporters who voted for him because of economic policies, but she argued it will be difficult for Democrats to persuade Trump supporters to vote for Democratic candidates, especially Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).