NBC's Todd Excuses Democratic Fearmongering: 'What Campaigns Aren't About Scaring Some Voters?'

In a taped interview with former Maryland Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich aired on Friday's MSNBC Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd scolded the GOP for supposedly not making "any progress" in reaching out to minorities and women since the 2012 election, citing the party's  defeat in the 2013 Virginia governor's race: "You lost because the Democrats were able to essentially win social issues – used social issues as a wedge." [Listen to the audio]

Ehrlich hit back: "But that's a euphemism, let's just call it what it is. It was scaring young women." Todd dismissed the accusation: "What campaigns aren't about scaring some voters?" He then went after Republicans: "Attacking health care is scaring voters, too." Ehlrich replied: "Attacking a dysfunctional health care is not scaring anybody. ObamaCare is scaring enough people."

Ehrlich denounced similar fearmongering efforts by Democrats in the 2012 presidential race: "...at the end of that campaign, young women thought Mitt Romney was gonna be stationed at the local CVS intercepting their birth control pills. Now, that's silly on its face, but that was the message. Literally, that was the commercial running."

Todd whined: "Well, I don't know about literally. It was that he was going to be very involved in your decisions on contraception."

Ehrlich pointed out: "Which was not his position, but this 'war on women' narrative."

On Wenesday's NBC Today, Todd predicted that Republicans would be "in just as bad of a place, if not worse" in 2014.

Here is a transcript of the January 3 exchange:

9:40AM ET

(...)

CHUCK TODD: We've been obviously a lot focused on the President, rough year. No doubt he's ending on a low. Republican Party had put all this emphasis on sort of – particularly the RNC – "Hey, we've got some issues as a party. We've got to figure out some things having to do with the suburbs, having to do with the demographic changes, having to do with," you brought up women. On paper it doesn't look like any progress was made. I mean, you look at the race in Virginia for instance in 2013 and it was essentially-

BOB EHRLICH [FMR. GOVERNOR, R-MD]: Well, the race in Virginia closed eleven points in the last couple days because of ObamaCare.

TODD: Okay, but-

EHRLICH: But we lost, we lost.

TODD: That's right, you lost. And you lost because the Democrats were able to essentially win social issues – used social issues as a wedge.

EHRLICH: But that's a euphemism, let's just call it what it is. It was scaring young women. I mean, in the last presidential campaign, the Democrats – and I thought it was-

TODD: Which campaign – what campaigns aren't about scaring some voters? I mean ultimately that is sort of what this is.

EHRLICH: But to me and my wife – forget me, it was my wife – my wife-

TODD: Attacking health care is scaring voters, too.

EHRLICH: Attacking a dysfunctional health care is not scaring anybody.

TODD: Right, but it's a form of political tactic.

EHRLICH: ObamaCare is scaring enough people.

TODD: It is a political tactic, is my point.  

EHRLICH: But my point is that at the end of that [2012 presidential] campaign, young women thought Mitt Romney was gonna be stationed at the local CVS intercepting their birth control pills.

TODD: Right.

EHRLICH: Now, that's silly on its face, but that was the message. Literally, that was the commercial running.

TODD: Well, I don't know about literally.

EHRLICH: And you know that, literally.

TODD: It was that he was going to be very involved in your decisions on contraception.

EHRLICH: Which was not his position, but this "war on women" narrative. And by the way, the crazy statements by the Republican senators played into the narrative. Whenever you are on the wrong side of a narrative – and I make this point in the book by the way – and something happens that obviously enhances that narrative with the general public, folks who tune in every four years, you've got a problem. And it's exactly what happened with Mitt.

(...)

— Kyle Drennen is News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.