Responding to a new poll that showed 47 percent of Donald Trump's voters claimed that would leave the Republican Party to join one centered on the ex-president, former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele said they are welcome to go so the GOP can start rebuilding instead of harboring extremists.
According to the poll, as reported by MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-host Mika Brezinski, only 17 percent of Trump voters believe that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election legitimately, which led co-host Joe Scarborough -- a former GOP member of the House representing Florida -- and Steele to bemoan the current state of the party after Trump.
"I used to say the Republican party was going the way of the Whigs," Scarborough began. "I think we already moving through that era. They may have morphed into the Know-Nothing Party, which, of course, was the xenophobic pro-slavery party that followed the Whigs and also collapsed very quickly."
"Again, it's important for viewers to understand, yes, it's disturbing, it's very disturbing for these people," he continued. "But the biggest losers in all of this, when you have 73 percent of Trump supporters believing Donald Trump won the election, when they believe -- 58 percent believe -- Antifa led the riots on Capitol Hill. You had [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy screaming at Donald Trump, 'it was your people that were there.' What we are watching is the complete disintegration of the Republican Party like that United flight engine going into Denver -- we are watching it every day crack up with pieces flying to the ground. This poll is just one more example of it. And the Republicans, they won't do what's necessary to save their party."
"No, they won't," Steele agreed. "And I think a lot of people, when they see these numbers and look at them and throw it off and go, well, 'that's the party of Trump,' I think there's a lot there to really think about because it is not just 'okay, Trump' in the past. It is also where we go as a national party from here."
"And that's the ongoing struggle right now, Joe," he continued. "Inside the GOP, what does that look and sounds like? And I think, from my estimation, it sounds very Trumpian with 73 percent of Republicans saying that this was all okay, we are all down with Trump. 58 percent of us believe this was Antifa, not Trump people. You can't turn the corner on that -- that's now bedrock inside the GOP. You have the national GOP going down to Mar-a-Lago to confer with Trump -- about what? We lost that one, let's get ready for the next round."
"Individuals like [GOP Reps.] Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney who are standing on one side saying here's the rational conservative approach to small government, effective leadership, individual liberties, et cetera," he continued. "And then there's this: the Trump party. And so you have 46 percent of the folks saying that they will follow Trump. I'm like, 'okay, there's the door. Y'all go do your thing and we'll just pick up the pieces on this side and keep moving' and that's the battle."
MSNBC 02 22 2021 06 44 25 www.youtube.com