MSNBC’s Steph Ruhle Wonders If Kamala Harris Is ‘Too Black’ for Moderate Republicans

MSNBC’s Steph Ruhle Wonders If Kamala Harris Is ‘Too Black’ for Moderate Republicans

Stephanie Ruhle drew the ire of a GOP pollster when she speculated that moderate Republicans won’t vote for Kamala Harris in next year’s presidential election because the Democratic senator is “too black.”

Ruhle made the comments while interviewing Chris Wilson on MSNBC Monday morning about Rep. Justin Amash’s comments over the weekend that he might consider a third-party run for president next year. Wilson suggested that an Amash candidacy would give a voting option to so-called “Never Trumpers” who did not vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton in 2016 and won’t vote for anyone to the left of Joe Biden in 2020.

“They’re not gonna be able to vote for an Elizabeth Warren or a Kamala Harris or Bernie Sanders,” Wilson concluded.

“Why not a Kamala Harris?” Ruhle asked.

Wilson responded that Harris is “a little too far left,” then struggled to name any Harris policies that are that far to the left. To which Ruhle responded, “Well tell me, because it sounds like she’s just more ‘too black.'”

This really offended Wilson, who argued with Ruhle for a minute and asked if she really thought there was that much space “ideologically” between Harris, Sanders and Warren. “To make that comparison because of the color of her skin is really a little bit too 1960 for my taste and it’s not a fair statement.”

Considering the racism within the GOP base that fueled the rise of the current Republican president at the expense of his African-American predecessor, Ruhle’s question seems like a very fair question. Harris does not have a policy platform or a career that reads as nearly to the left as that of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. So then why wouldn’t moderate voters be able to pull the lever for her in the voting booth?

Based on the way Barack Obama was treated, and based on Trump’s birtherism, it may not be possible for the GOP to ever shake the impression that even its tiny moderate wing has a racist streak that would prevent it from voting for a non-white candidate. No matter how personally offended Wilson might get if anyone suggests it to him.

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.