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Classless MSNBC: Dole Was ‘A Big Insult Politician,’ Like Trump

classless-msnbc:-dole-was-‘a-big-insult-politician,’-like-trump

During its coverage following the Capitol Hill ceremony honoring the late Bob Dole, MSNBC painted the former war hero, senator, and presidential candidate as “a complicated figure” because he was a Republican who voted for Donald Trump. At one point, a guest even slammed Dole as “a big insult politician.”

Craig Melvin Reports guest host Yasmin Vossoughian asked Politico’s Josh Gerstein to recall the time where Dole jokingly tried to have him arrested for being a bad driver. After recalling the incident, Gerstein claimed that Dole was a man of bipartisanship, but:

There are elements of Trumpism that were visible, that were creeping out during his campaign. For one thing, he was a big insult politician. Part of his sense of humor, he was joking around with me, but he would display some pretty dark comments about other people in the political realm. He talked at one point about a bus filled with supply-siders went off the side of a mountain and everybody was killed. The bad news is there were three empty seats.”

Gerstein also condemned Dole for criticizing the press, “He’d insult people on the debate stage much in the same way that Donald Trump did. So there were elements of that there, and he also went on a big tirade at the end of his campaign against the news media which seemed to me a little bit insincere given how tight he was with various members of the media including a producer for NBC who really pretty much worked out of the foyer of her, his office on Capitol Hill.”

Vossoughian also saw similarities between the two, claiming both are the “what you see is what you get” personality types, but claimed that Trump’s post-election behavior highlighted big differences between them. Gerstein agreed, but still tried to tie the two together:

There’s no question they’re very different people. I mean, Dole as Michael was saying, was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. The notion that he was going to step off the bus even if Trump was driving is very, very unlikely. Though the Bush family members, several of them announced they weren’t voting for Trump. Dole said he was. 

He then claimed: “You know, you wouldn’t see Trump doing the kinds of deals that Dole not only did but was so proud of on issues like Social Security or the Americans with Disabilities Act. So he’s a complicated figure. I don’t think it’s fair to cast him as entirely one way or entirely the other.” 

Vossoughian then turned to historian Michael Beschloss, who praised Dole for his “courage” on civil rights, but also lamented: “I think in the end, a lot of Bob Dole’s friends just as Josh is suggesting, were very disappointed with him at the end of his life, because they wish he had been harder on Trump and stronger in trying to preserve what they saw as a threat to democracy.”

Only MSNBC could claim a Republican voting for a Republican being a tarnish on someone’s remarkable legacy.

This segment was sponsored by QuickBooks.

Here is a transcript for the December 9 show:

MSNBC Special Coverage: Remembering Bob Dole

11:33 AM ET

JOSH GERSTEIN: Yeah. That was funny. That was one of my first experiences with him up in New Hampshire, chasing around his campaign. And we had to sort of hopscotch to events. We were trying to race out of one and get to the next one before he got there. And eventually he started teasing me about being a dangerously fast driver, and he tried to have one of the governor’s state troopers up there throw me in jail. But, you know, I agree with Michael about the bipartisanship. 

YASMIN VOSSOUGHIAN: Yeah

GERSTEIN: There’s just no question that Dole is from another era that he used to get deals and that is what politicians did at that time. At the same time, I do think, Yasmin, that there are elements of Trumpism that were visible, that were creeping out during his campaign. For one thing, he was a big insult politician. Part of his sense of humor, he was joking around with me, but he would display some pretty dark comments about other people in the political realm. He talked at one point about a bus filled with supply-siders went off the side of a mountain and everybody was killed. The bad news is there were three empty seats. 

VOSSUGIAN: Wow

GERSTEIN: I mean, those are pretty dark comments. He’d insult people on the debate stage much in the same way that Donald Trump did. So there were elements of that there, and he also went on a big tirade at the end of his campaign against the news media which seemed to me a little bit insincere given how tight he was with various members of the media including a producer for NBC who really pretty much worked out of the foyer of her, his office on Capitol Hill. 

VOSSUGIAN: It’s interesting because in your piece, Josh, right, you describe him as a you see, what you see is what you get, right? Pretty similar to the former president, and the former president is someone that was supported by Bob Dole, twice. But, in fact, Dole came out and said he lost the election, Biden certifiably won this election. So, there certainly was a difference and a respect for this country, right? the rules, the regulations, the law, the governance of this country. 

GERSTEIN: Oh, yeah. There’s no question they’re very different people. I mean, Dole as Michael was saying, was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. The notion that he was going to step off the bus even if Trump was driving is very, very unlikely. Though the Bush family members, several of them announced they weren’t voting for Trump. Dole said he was. And a number of Dole’s top staffers went on to be very senior representatives on Trump’s campaign, on even in Trump’s White House. His U.S. Trade representative came directly basically out of Dole’s office, somebody that came up in that time. So, so, there were connections there. Obviously it was a different era. You know, you wouldn’t see Trump doing the kinds of deals…

VOSSUGIAN: Yeah

GERSTEIN: …that Dole was not only did but was so proud of on issues like Social Security or the Americans with Disabilities Act. So he’s a complicated figure. I don’t think it’s fair to cast him as entirely one way or entirely the other. 

VOSSUGIAN: Hey Michael, allow me or help me leave folks with a sentiment that the president said in his quote about Dole, “I will never forget what he said to our colleagues, quote, ‘no first class democracy can treat people like second class citizens.’” Expand on that for me in relation to the late senator. 

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Well, this was a very conservative Republican, especially in the earlier part of his career. Yet, in 1964 when there were a lot of conservatives beginning with Barry Goldwater who opposed the Civil Rights Act, and all that said is public places must be open to everyone, race, creed, or color, Barry Goldwater was against that, said it was unconstitutional. Bob Dole was for it. It required some courage. And so I think in the end, a lot of Bob Dole’s friends just as Josh is suggesting, were very disappointed with him at the end of his life, because they wish he had been harder on Trump and stronger in trying to preserve what they saw as a threat to democracy. But in the end, this is the country that is going to depend on the good will of people of common sense like Bob Dole. And if God forbid a crisis of democracy comes as well it might during the next few years, I sure would want Bob Dole at my side.

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