Morning Joe host (and leading conservative pundit) Joe Scarborough apparently agrees about the need to reform the GOP on the issue of bigotry, and that Donald Trump presents an opportunity to do that.*
Arguing forcefully this morning that Jeb Bush and other candidates should go after Trump with the gloves off, Scarborough said (starting at 6:20):
This is a generational opportunity for Republicans, if you have the right person that goes out there -- defends the law first of all -- but at the same time [as he or she is] defending the law, defends Hispanics and people from Mexico, that actually is remembered in the general election in a way that Romney's unfortunate statement about Hispanics was remembered in 2012.
I'm guessing Scarborough was referring to Romney's 2012 suggestion that he would make undocumented immigrants "self-deport."
It's possible though that he was referring to the time Romney joked that he'd have an easier time in the election if he were Latino. Or it could be that he meant the "47 percent" comment, in which Romney suggested that nearly half the electorate, including Hispanics, were dependent on government and would not take responsibility for their own lives.
Despite all those 2012 remarks, though, give Romney credit for repudiating Trump a few days ago: "I think he made a severe error in saying what he did about Mexican-Americans."
He would know.
* I've made the same point in arguing that Donald Trump, for all his offensiveness about immigrants, is simply stating plainly the racism that has been built into Republican electoral strategy since Nixon. I've also pointed out that Trump is just factually wrong.
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