Cable news pundit Joy Reid claimed Donald Trump won the Iowa caucus because ‘white Christians’ believe he will ‘return’ the US to them.
Reid called the Midwest state ‘hyper evangelical’ and therefore full of voters who support the former president in his campaign to regain the White House.
Trump handily won the Iowa caucus on Tuesday night with 51 per cent of the vote in frigid conditions to kick off the primary season.
Reid discussed how overrepresented white Christians were in Iowa compared to the rest of the country on MSNBC coverage of the caucus.
Quoting Robert Jones, author of The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy, she said Iowa was 61 per cent white Christian, compared to 41 per cent in the whole US.
Raid said she earlier asked him why evangelicals were so supportive of Trump, despite him losing to President Joe Biden at the 2020 election.
‘They see themselves as the rightful inheritors of this country, and Trump has promised to give it back to them,’ she quoted Jones as saying.
Reid added that given this, white Christians didn’t care how electable Trump was, or about any of his controversies.
‘When you believe that God has given you this country, that it is yours, and that everyone who is not a white, conservative Christian is a fraudulent American, is a less real American, then you don’t care about electability,’ she said.
‘You care about what God has given you.’
Reid revisited the topic later in the show, arguing the Democrats needed to confront the reality that ‘white evangelicalism’ had morphed into ‘Christian nationalism’.
‘White evangelical Christians of a certain mindset… [think] that they own this country,’ she said.
‘That immigrants, that brown people, that Hindus like Vivek Ramaswamy and his wife are illegitimate Americans. They are less legitimate Americans than they are.’
Ramaswamy dropped out of the race soon after only getting 7.7 per cent of the vote, and endorsed Trump in his concession speech.
Reid added: ‘They’re not trying to convince people and win people over through politics. What they’re saying is, “we own this country, and everyone will bow down to us”.’
At another point in MSNBC’s coverage, Reid claimed not only did white Christian voters in Iowa reject Ramaswamy because of his race, but also Nikki Haley.
‘The elephant in the room is she is still a brown lady who has to try to win in a party that is deeply anti-immigrant and accepts the notion that you can say immigrants a poisoning the blood of our country,’ she said.
Trump last month, in one of his most controversial speeches, used what his opponents called Nazi ideology when discussing the migrant crisis.
‘They’re poisoning the blood of our country. They’re coming into our country from Africa, from Asia, all over the world,’ he said.
Reid referred to Trump questioning whether Haley, whose parents are Indian immigrants, was even born in the US and therefore eligible to be president.
‘I don’t care how much the donor class likes her… it’s still a challenge, I don’t see how she becomes the nominee of that party with Donald Trump still around, I can’t picture it happening,’ she said.
‘Ron DeSantis’ only argument for staying in it is he’s the white guy, that he can still make the appeal to white people.’
Florida Governor DeSantis won 21 per cent of the vote in Iowa to Haley’s 19 per cent.both are still in the race and will contest the New Hampshire primary next week.
The state is 77 per cent Christian, but only 28 per cent call themselves evangelicals. For the whole of the US, this number drops to 24 per cent.
About 49 per cent of Americans are Protestants of any kind, and 23 per cent are Catholic – making Iowa only slightly more Protestant.
Reid was criticized online for making generalizations about Iowa voters that would land her in hot water if she was talking about any other group.
‘If a white newscaster said that there were too many Muslims in Minnesota, they’d be fired immediately, sued, and probably driven into hiding,’ one wrote.
Actor and director Robert Davi wrote: ‘Imagine if a white joy reid said that “its a state over represented by black Christians… etc”
‘I would say they are a disgusting ignorant elite bigot! If she said this- something needs to be done to hold her accountable for fanning racism and bigotry.’
Another pointed out that Biden turned his 2020 campaign around with a big victory in South Carolina where about 60 per cent of Democratic primary voters were black and heavily supported him.
‘Was Joy Reid crying about disproportionate black influence on the democratic primary?’ he wrote.
Jonathan Turley, chair of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, had a more measured take on Reid’s remarks.
‘Much like our politics, our media often seems captured by the most extreme elements of our society,’ he wrote.
‘However, the most concerning aspect is that this is just the beginning of January. We have to make it to November.’
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The race lady on MSNBC, Joy Reid, says Nikki Haley lost Iowa Caucus because of… racism. ???? pic.twitter.com/1YJZDHx1lP
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 16, 2024
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 16, 2024
MSNBC’s Joy Reid has on-air meltdown about Iowa having too many Trump-voting “white Christians” SECONDS before having mic cut to announce Trump landslide victory ????pic.twitter.com/FeHoMtQQUu
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) January 16, 2024