MSNBC’s Katy Tur is trying to game-plan a new PR strategy for Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to save him for allegations of racism.
During her MSNBC program on Monday, Tur unveiled what she believes would be Northam’s best defense: “Virginia was a racist place, but I’ve made strides.”
The segment began when Tur and a handful of network contributors began discussing the controversy surrounding Northam and growing calls for his resignation.
Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook shows one person dressed in “blackface” and another wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
Northam vaguely claimed he doesn’t believe he’s either person pictured in “blackface” or in the KKK outfit, but did admit he once “darkened” his face when he dressed up as singer Michael Jackson.
Tur did her best to convince viewers that the scandal is actually a positive one for Democrats and that Republicans are to blame.
“The Democratic Party is trying to be pretty clear on this, it seems. You can’t do this in the Democratic Party. The Republican Party maybe you can, but the Democratic Party you can’t,” Tur said in the clip tweeted by Grabien’s Tom Elliot.
.@KatyTurNBC says this Northam scandal speaks well of Democrats and poorly of Republicans:
"The Democratic Party is trying to be pretty clear on this, it seems. You can’t do this in the Democratic Party. The Republican Party maybe you can, but the Democratic Party you can’t." pic.twitter.com/lXLoA7dnLU
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 4, 2019
Tur then delivered an even more generous defense for Democrats by claiming that the Republican Party is full of racists.
“Race was a factor in this race for governor, Doug [Thornell]. Corey Stewart was accused of not being racially sensitive. The Republican Party has been accused to not be racially sensitive, to put it in delicate terms,” Tur began.
“What’s going on with Steve King in Iowa is one example of that. The President himself has been accused of being a racist multiple times,” she added.
Tur continued, “Given that, there are some folks out there who say, ‘Listen, why should a Democrat who seemed to have led a decent life since then and has represented the state and won the majority of black voters, why should he pay the price for wrongdoings on the other side?’ That’s an argument that is out there.”
MSNBC contributor Karine Jean-Pierre jumped in and helped push Tur’s message, arguing that the real scandal actually involved Republicans because they haven’t demanded that President Donald Trump be removed from office.
“I have to say this, Chris, about the Republican Party: There’s no moral ground,” Jean-Pierre said. “Yes, now, they’re speaking out against Steve King, but they haven’t asked for King to resign. Many of the Republicans speaking out about Ralph Northam, they supported Cory Stewart, they’ve supported Ed Gillespie. So, I think that you know, it’s not the same; it is really different.”
She added: “We have Donald Trump, you know, who has shown, like you mentioned, Chris, with Charlottesville and other policies, there is — there are — that he has really bigoted and racist ways. And he is still there. Why — why have we — why have Republicans in Congress not have stepped up and really made him accountable for the things he’s done and the things he said? So, it’s not the same thing. I think you have leaders in the Democratic that’s going to be in the Democratic primary and who are in already in the Democratic primary for this presidential election who have been really clear about Ralph Northam and denounced him. And I think that’s the difference. They’ve said he should resign.”
The MSNBC theme is that Republicans are to blame because Northam — who has also been accused of being nicknamed “Coonman” around that time — allegedly appeared in a racist photograph dressed as either a KKK member or in “blackface.”