Donald Trump, Republicans Using Racism as Final Midterm Election Argument, 'Morning Joe' Host Says

The U.S. is now just a week away from a critical midterm vote that will, in many ways, define the next two years of President Donald Trump's tenure in the White House. Should Republicans maintain control of both chambers of Congress, Trump will be able to push much more of his agenda. If Democrats take back the House—or, in far less likely scenarios, the Senate or both—Trump could be in for a fight.

It makes sense then that the former reality TV star would make his final, aggressive push to court voters to cast ballots for GOP candidates. On Tuesday, Joe Scarborough—a former Republican congressman and host of MSNBC's Morning Joe—said that final argument from Trump (and the GOP as a whole) was centered on racism.

Scarborough said on the show:

"Isn't it something that every president, every campaign will have their closing arguments and you can go back. Whether it was Barack Obama, or whether it was Ronald Reagan, whoever was running for president, they always had—and their party always had—their closing argument: 'This is why you should re-elect us. This is why you should keep us in power. This is our message. This is who we are.' Now, in normal times the Republicans would use that tax cut that they passed. That was supposed to be their closing argument. Or perhaps the Supreme Court justices, or perhaps Donald Trump bragging about re-making the judiciary—of course, lying—saying he's appointed more judges than any other president since George Washington. You could go down the line of things you would expect—the economy—this president to use as his closing argument. But what Donald Trump and what the Republican Party—which has now been completely taken over by Donald Trump—is using is racism. And you see it in Donald Trump saying he's going to circumvent the Constitution with an executive order. He can't do that. He knows he can't. He's hoping there's enough stupid voters out there that don't understand he can't do that."

Scarborough then continued with his monologue about the GOP employing racism, using right-wingers claiming—without evidence—that a migrant caravan could bring diseases and Trump's comments about sending troops to the border as examples. The MSNBC host said this was simply a scare tactic.

"It's not about anything other than scaring Americans and appealing to their most racist, base instincts," Scarborough said. "And if it works, God help us all. I don't think it will."

morning joe trump racism midterm strategy
MSNBC ‘Morning Joe’ hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski speak at a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics event in the McGowan Theater at the National Archives, in Washington, D. C., on July 12, 2017. Scarborough said on Monday that President Donald Trump admitted he used racism while campaigning, because "it works." Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump made headlines on Tuesday for an interview with Axios in which he claimed he wanted to end birthright citizenship with an executive order. Such an order would assuredly bring a prolonged legal battle, considering the 14th Amendment reads: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States."

If Scarborough is correct, and Trump is making his final push, then the president has a fair bit of ground to make up, at least in the House. FiveThirtyEight's projection on Tuesday gave the Democrats an about 86 percent chance of taking back control of the House. The site's Senate forecast, meanwhile, gave the GOP an about 83 percent chance of holding onto control