Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said Tuesday's election was a referendum on the GOP's acceptance of President Donald Trump's "inherent racism."
Steele appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to analyze the midterm elections, and host Joe Scarborough said the president had chosen to promote racist lies instead of touting a strong economy in his closing message to voters.
"Everybody is following Donald Trump's lead," Scarborough said. "They're lying through their teeth, they're spreading the big lie. They are attacking non-white people, and Donald Trump has chosen, he has chosen to choose racism over a strong economy."
Steele said GOP candidates were just as much to blame, because they were choosing to promote racist conspiracies instead of highlighting their success in confirming conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"They've fallen into this bucket where they feel they can peddle, or at least stay silent on, inherent racism and bad behavior," Steele said. "Somehow they think the American people are going to sit back and go, 'Yeah, we want more of that.' This election is going to be a very important tell as to which direction the American people want us to go based on the fact pattern right before us now. I think today could be a bigger, have a bigger impact in the long run than anything we've seen."
Scarborough said Republicans are tolerating behavior they wouldn't accept from their 5-year-old children, and he blasted evangelicals for hypocritically backing Trump's cruelty.
"I mean, have they read the Beatitudes lately?" Scarborough said. "I'm serious, one by one by one, have they read the story of the Good Samaritan? Have they gone to Matthew 25? Again, I'm not preaching here, this is basic stuff. This is like saying George Washington was the first president of the United States instead of the 37th. This is basic stuff for anybody that's ever opened a Bible."