Michael Moore disputed the notion that all the people who voted for President-elect Donald Trump are racist Friday, reiterating the fact that millions of them voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
“They’re not racist,” Moore said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “They twice voted for a man whose middle name is Hussein. That’s the America you live in.”
Moore was pushing back against another panelist who said “deep racial animus” at the heart of the country was behind Trump’s win. “What I’m trying to get at, is at the heart of this country is some deep racial animus that animates the very communities we’re trying to lift up,” Eddie Glaude Jr., chair of the African American department at Princeton University told the panel.
“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough replied: “I have to repeat it again because it’s maddening. People who live by data should die by data, and the data according to Nate Cohn of the New York Times says this, and let those who have ears to hear, hear: The very people who helped elect Barack Obama president of the United States twice just elected in Wisconsin, in Michigan, in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Donald J. Trump. It’s the data.”
Moore took it from there. “You have to accept that millions of people who voted for Barack Obama, some of them once, some of them twice, changed their minds this time. They’re not racist. They twice voted for a man whose middle name is Hussein. That’s the America you live in.”
Rammesh Ponnuru echoed Moore and Scarborough’s sentiment in a Bloomberg piece, taking issue with the notion that Trump won because White Americans are racist.
“Against that theory, I’d note, first, that Trump won several states that voted twice for our first black president,” he wrote. “The early exit polls suggest Trump won a tenth of voters who approved of President Barack Obama’s job performance. If that’s close to true, it means he wouldn’t have won without those voters.”
He continued: “And as I’ve noted in this space before, claims that bigotry are a major motivation for Trump voters have a thin evidentiary basis: They classify conservative views that aren’t necessarily rooted in racial hostility as ‘racial resentment,’ they ignore the decline in bigotry over time, and they overgeneralize about a very large and in some ways diverse group of people.”