On Thursday, top operatives from the 2016 presidential cycle attended a discussion at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. During one of the panels, Hillary Clinton’s communication director Jennifer Palmieri and Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway had a heated exchange.
Palmieri accused the Trump campaign of providing “a platform for white supremacists,” which she attributed to Trump’s victory. Conway adamantly disputed Palmieri’s notion, saying the Clinton campaign lost because they did not have an economic message.
On Friday, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” debated the exchange siding with Conway’s point that the Clinton campaign had no economic message, while refuting Palmieri’s claim of racism.
“The Clinton people came in there trying to defend Hillary Clinton’s honor and still very clearly grappling with the consequences of this,” NBC’s Kasie Hunt said of the event.
“I understand the edge, Mark Halperin, on both sides. I understand the resentment on both sides. You know call somebody a racist. Their back’s going to be up,” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough said of the heated exchange. “Kellyanne brought up, I think, the most important point. Which was this is about Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton failed to deliver a message that could drive people to the polls in these states,”
At this point, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski interjected, “I don’t think racist and bigots voted for Donald Trump. I think people who were really hurting voted to Donald Trump. People who would have voted for Bernie Sanders voted for Donald Trump. People who were left out of the system, Elizabeth Warren’s people, voted for Donald Trump.”
“So that accusation, I’m sorry, about having white supremacists and racism lead your campaign is like calling all the voters for Donald Trump racists and bigots. They aren’t,” Brzezinski said of Palmieri’s claim.
Scarborough concluded, “So much of this, Mark, was just the failure of Hillary Clinton to do exactly what they were saying she didn’t do. She could never connect.”
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