From the October 1 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:
CHUCK TODD (HOST): Joy, here's what Erick Erickson wrote yesterday. He goes, “it should matter to all of us that the president is so willing to get in the mud and fight back when the mayor and everyone else in Puerto Rico need our empathy and compassion. Sometimes the president just does not need to dial up the jackass, and sometimes he does not need to be defended.”
JOY REID: Yeah, but Donald Trump is just being himself, right? He's channeling his base. He's talking to them, but he's also channeling them. I mean, before Donald Trump started tweeting, some of the more sort of prominent members of his base were calling the mayor even worse names than that, saying she's a murderer, she belongs in jail. He's getting these signals and he's giving them because he shares their view. And it is interesting that Donald Trump's reflex is to say that a woman, a woman of color, you know, is an ingrate, or to attack her or to say the people of Puerto Rico essentially are too lazy to help themselves, want something from the federal government that they won't provide to themselves. You know, he actually went on the tweet storm, which is the most he had talked about Puerto Rico at all, a year to the day after he attacked Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe. Donald Trump has a particular reflex to attack women, to attack women of color, and to signal boost to his base this idea that people of color are lazy and dependent, and won't do for themselves. He's sharing that with a large portion of his base.
TODD: David Brooks, a lot of people see a pattern here. I mean, because she -- we forgot the gold star dad, Khizr Khan, who happened to be Muslim. There was Steph Curry last week, an NBA basketball player of color. He is -- there appears to be a pattern.
DAVID BROOKS: Yeah, well if you look at the Republican Party and you ask them, “do you think there's as much discrimination against white people as against everybody else? A large percentage say yes. How strong is white identity for a lot of Republicans? For about 47 percent of the Republican Party, the sense of being white, of whiteness, is a strong identity factor. For the other half, not so much a factor. They believe in conservative ideas are good for everybody. And Donald Trump is playing for the white identity party. And therefore it's becoming harder, operationally, to be a Republican without suddenly siding with that. And so the other half of the party has to decide, ”can we side with a guy who's constantly dragging us into racial identity politics, over and over again, in a way that becomes offensive?" I've been a conservative 30 years, going with all these magazines, I never used to hear racial stuff at conservative gatherings, but now it's suddenly become very hard to be a Republican and not be somehow associated with something racially reprehensible.