Distraught MSNBC Host Admits Trashing Kavanaugh “Has Hurt Democrats”

National   Kyle Drennen   Oct 12, 2018   |   5:46PM    Washington, DC

While moderating a panel discussion about the upcoming midterm elections on her 9:00 a.m. ET hour show on Friday, MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle bemoaned the fact that Democrats may have hurt their chances by the way they attempted to character assassinate Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, admitting that swing voters “don’t like the way Democrats handled it.”

“There was so much talk – or there is so much talk about the blue wave. When we all went through the Kavanaugh experience in the last few weeks, many people said this is going to drive more Democrats to go out and vote,” Ruhle began. However, she then acknowledged the real impact: “But if you actually look at the polls, they’ve tightened. They’ve tightened. This Kavanaugh situation has hurt Democrats in the way that they handled it.”

 

Moments later, after noting that “a lot more Republicans are excited to vote,” Ruhle observed that the message Democrats had been using with voters may have backfired:

One of the things Democrats have been pushing is they’re sort of the moral leaders and they have been pointing the finger at Republicans. And something sort of got muzzled in the last few weeks that when you sit down with even a centrist and you talk about the Kavanaugh confirmation, whether it’s my feelings or not, they’re quickly saying it’s not just dirty politics on one side and Merrick Garland one side, the way Mitch McConnell handled it, more and more people are saying they don’t like the way Democrats handled it.

Even former Democratic Senator Bob Torricelli admitted: “It pains me to say this, but, the Senate Democrats were incredibly ineffective in the Kavanaugh hearings.” Just before saying that, he predicted: “I know I’m going to hear from half the Judiciary Committee.” Ruhle chimed in: “And so will I.”

Torricelli continued: “They didn’t cross-examine, they did not make a good case. They didn’t really stand up to Kavanaugh….I think that depressed Democratic feelings about the contrast between the parties. Otherwise, I agree, this just drove a fire under the Republican base.”

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Ironically, Ruhle then complained to the New Jersey Democrat:

But in terms of Democrats and Democratic leadership, they have been pushing this idea that Donald Trump – and I get it – is an amoral guy, he lies every which way you can possibly think of. But then, I look at states like New Jersey and I talk to New Jersey voters and I talk about the corruption we see or the self-serving we see, and they say, “Well, it’s not just Republicans, what about Bob Menendez?” A Democrat, like you, in the state of New Jersey who is running again. And this guy was plagued with a corruption mistrial. If Democrats want to run on being the moral authority, is it the right move to have a guy like Menendez running again?

Ruhle seemed to forget that Torricelli himself was forced to abandon his reelection bid to the U.S. Senate following allegations that he accepted illegal campaign contributions. Despite his own corruption scandal, the hypocritical Democrat actually lectured others: “Stephanie, the entire system has what Daniel Patrick Moynihan called ‘a downward spiral of deviance.’”

Here are excerpts of the October 12 discussion:

9:49 AM ET

(…)

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Alright, well, let’s stay with the Supreme Court and talk broader – in broader terms about the midterms. There was so much talk – or there is so much talk about the blue wave. When we all went through the Kavanaugh experience in the last few weeks, many people said this is going to drive more Democrats to go out and vote. But if you actually look at the polls, they’ve tightened. They’ve tightened. This Kavanaugh situation has hurt Democrats in the way that they handled it. What do you make of it?

RICK TYLER: I think that’s – well, look, the Democrats were already excited to vote, right? And the fact that they lost the Kavanaugh, in their view, he got on the court, that made them more excited, right? But there was only –

RUHLE: But it did get – did it get new Democrats excited to vote?

TYLER: Well, that’s the question, how much more excited could they be, right? So there wasn’t – the increase wasn’t that much. Democrats – Republicans, on the other hand, were not that excited. And with the Kavanaugh hearings, they became very excited. So it closed the gap. I would still say the blue side is more excited than the red side, but it’s much closer.

The other thing you have, Stephanie, is as you get closer to elections, polls always tighten up, and Republicans, in general. are more reliable voters in off-year elections.

(…)

9:50 AM ET

RUHLE: Bob, go back to the midterms for us. We knew that Democrats were excited to vote before. We know through the Kavanaugh confirmation now a lot more Republicans are excited to vote. One of the things Democrats have been pushing is they’re sort of the moral leaders and they have been pointing the finger at Republicans. And something sort of got muzzled in the last few weeks that when you sit down with even a centrist and you talk about the Kavanaugh confirmation, whether it’s my feelings or not, they’re quickly saying it’s not just dirty politics on one side and Merrick Garland one side, the way Mitch McConnell handled it, more and more people are saying they don’t like the way Democrats handled it.

FMR SEN. ROBERT TORRICELLI [D-NJ]: Yeah, I know I’m going to hear from half the Judiciary Committee –

RUHLE: And so will I.

TORRICELLI: It pains me to say this, but, the Senate Democrats were incredibly ineffective in the Kavanaugh hearings. They didn’t cross-examine, they did not make a good case. They didn’t really stand up to Kavanaugh, who insulted the institution, insulted the process, insulted individual senators, and they took it as a normal course of business. I think that depressed Democratic feelings about the contrast between the parties. Otherwise, I agree, this just drove a fire under the Republican base.

In any case, the polls have narrowed. I don’t think enough that it jeopardizes the House. My guess is the Democrats taking the House is fairly well baked in – but close. We have a seven-point or so generic, that gets close to whether or not you can pick up that many seats. But the senate, there are four or five senate races where I thought Democrats had an advantage up to a week ago that are now a flip of a coin.

RUHLE: But in terms of Democrats and Democratic leadership, they have been pushing this idea that Donald Trump – and I get it – is an amoral guy, he lies every which way you can possibly think of. But then, I look at states like New Jersey and I talk to New Jersey voters and I talk about the corruption we see or the self-serving we see, and they say, “Well, it’s not just Republicans, what about Bob Menendez?” A Democrat, like you, in the state of New Jersey who is running again. And this guy was plagued with a corruption mistrial. If Democrats want to run on being the moral authority, is it the right move to have a guy like Menendez running again?

TORRICELLI: Stephanie, the entire system has what Daniel Patrick Moynihan called “a downward spiral of deviance.”

RUHLE: But it doesn’t have to be, there’s great people.

TORRICELLI: Maybe not. But look at yesterday with Kanye West in the – this is – in the Oval office where Ronald Reagan wouldn’t take off his jacket because he thought it was disrespectful to the office. Look at where we are, in both parties. Look at this culture and what we have done to this country. This is now gotten baked into the system. People think with Donald Trump’s behavior, the things you’ve cited, this is just the way it is. It shouldn’t be, it doesn’t have to be, but voters are responding that way.

RUHLE: There are – Donald Trump’s conduct is reprehensible, we know this. But are there any moral leaders right now? Can a party say, “We’re the good guys”?

(…)

9:54 AM ET

RUHLE: Michael, last point.

MICHAEL WALDMAN [PRESIDENT, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE]: In any midterm election, but especially this one, I don’t know that voters are looking for moral leadership from Congress, but they want to know that there’s going to be somebody to check whoever the president is. And that is certainly the general sentiment this time. And the question is, over the next month, with Kanye West yesterday, with screaming at the Fed and calling them “loco” and the stock market crashing as a result, in part, will people be reminded that above all else the issue looming over this election is who’s gonna stand up as some kind of check to a president who is historically unpopular. And that will – and that – both bases will be motivated and polls always tighten, but that will probably be still the overarching question for the election.

RUHLE: Uh, oh, boys, the nonpartisan point was the best one at the end of the day. Did you hear that America?

(…)

LifeNews.com Note: Kyle Drennen is an MRC News Analyst and a graduate of Providence College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science. This was originally posted on the Media Research Center blog NewsBusters.