While some political observers argue that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — and his success — are unprecedented, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on Tuesday that his style can be traced back to the rhetoric employed by segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace (D).
“Close your eyes and just listen to the news reports from that election, it’s almost like they’re talking about Donald Trump,” she said.
Maddow played several clips detailing coverage of Wallace’s run, including one describing his supporters as being angry about the political climate, and being drawn to his confrontational style. She also showed footage of protesters being violently taken out of the governor’s campaign events, much like they have been during several Trump rallies thus far in his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
She also pointed out that Trump’s popularity did not suddenly come about this year; he drew great support among GOP voters during the 2012 campaign, when he teased a possible run while alleging that President Barack Obama was not an American citizen.
“Donald Trump has something that Republican voters like. They liked it the last time that he offered it to them for a short period of time,” she said. “And now they like it this time, as well — it’s the same type of significant popularity. It just hasn’t gone away this time around because he hasn’t stopped running this time around like he did in 2012.”
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Tuesday, below.