MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace tore into conservative columnist Peggy Noonan for calling Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris “embarrassing” for dancing on the campaign trail, saying she felt Noonan was being “bitchy” and “tone-deaf.”
Noonan, a former speechwriter and assistant to President Ronald Reagan, sparked backlash over the weekend for her Wall Street Journal op-ed that dismissively took aim at Harris, who is looking to become the first Black female vice president.
“She’s the younger candidate going for the younger vote, and she’s going for a Happy Warrior vibe, but she’s coming across as insubstantial, frivolous,” Noonan wrote. “When she started to dance in the rain onstage, in Jacksonville, Florida, to Mary J. Blige’s ‘Work That,’ it was embarrassing.”
Wallace, meanwhile, didn’t mince words on Monday’s broadcast of Deadline: White House, wondering whether “right-wing Twitter could handle” her coming comments about Noonan while preemptively giving “them a second to get their tweeting fingers ready” to respond.
“When you’re a white woman and you’re a Republican, and there’s just certain stuff culturally that you don’t know jack bleep about and you should keep your mouth shut about other people dancing,” the former George W. Bush White House communications director said.
“And what is that line about dancing to a drumbeat,” she continued. “This, to me, felt tone-deaf, it felt nasty, it felt personal and it felt bitchy!”
MSNBC political analyst Claire McCaskill, a former Democratic senator, agreed with Wallace, adding that she was “going to take a deep breath” and “try to stay calm” before offering her reaction on Noonan’s column.
“I’m never more disappointed in a woman that I thought I admired in my life,” McCaskill seethed. “She said at the end of that, you didn’t read the very last part of that paragraph, Nicolle, because she said it is ‘embarrassing.’ No, Peggy, I’ll tell you what is embarrassing.”
Wallace, meanwhile, interjected to tell her viewers that she didn’t read that part out loud “on purpose.”
McCaskill continued by listing a number of President Donald Trump’s personal and political scandals, such as using hush-money to silence mistresses, in order to frame Trump as far more embarrassing than Harris.
“And yes, even a president who can’t dance, doesn’t know how to show joy or empathy and tries to do some kind of ridiculous arm thrust to ‘YMCA,’” she added, referencing a new feature of Trump’s campaign rallies. “That is what is embarrassing. Kamala Harris is anything but embarrassing. She is uplifting. She’s inspirational. She’s strong and substantial and she’s going to be one hell of a vice president.”
Wallace applauded McCaskill at the end, telling the former Missouri lawmaker, “I have never loved you more.”