Since 2020 (really since 2016), we’ve all been conditioned by events to expect the unexpected. But even by the standards of this bizarre era, watching Trump’s glowering White House spokesman, Stephanie Grisham, kibitz with the hosts of “The View” is right up there on the chart of unlikely developments.
The heel-face turn she pulled last year was also a surprise. Grisham is a confounding figure for Trump critics because, on the one hand, Ana Navarro and Sunny Hostin have a point in the clip below. Why was she drawn to Trump in the first place? Why did she agree to serve as his press secretary? It’s not as if there had been no hints about his character until January 6, 2021.
On the other hand, Grisham is one of the few Trump administration alums who seems genuinely remorseful for having worked for him. Unlike Bill Barr, she’s not open to supporting him again after January 6. And, today’s national TV appearance notwithstanding, by turning on him she surely cost herself more professional opportunities than she gained. The woman who succeeded her as press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, is now a regular on America’s most-watched cable network. The woman who preceded her as press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is the frontrunner to be the next governor of Arkansas. A prominent position in the Trump White House is a precious and potentially lucrative credential for someone willing to exploit it in populist politics and media.
Grisham refused. She could have been a Liz Harrington type for Trump, continuing to carry his water on messaging in exchange for a spot in his inner circle. She walked away. In return for doing so, she got a one-time book deal and the chance to be berated on television by people like Navarro and Hostin who can’t look at her without some degree of contempt. The left will never trust her, the right will forever despise her for “disloyalty.” What a bargain. Watch, then read on.
TRUMP ASKS SUPPORTERS TO FUND NEW PLANE: Former Pres. Trump's PAC is fundraising to pay for a new jet for him, which they're calling "Trump Force One" — @JoyVBehar, @ananavarro, @sunny, and @OMGrisham discuss. https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/DbbPUZo9vb
— The View (@TheView) March 11, 2022
The interesting twist in that exchange is Hostin roping Navarro into her critique. Sure, Grisham might have worked for Trump, she says — but you’re still a member of the Republican Party, Ana. Why?
Navarro whiffs on the answer. It’s fine as far as it goes, recalling Bush’s impressive performance with Hispanic voters in 2004, but there’s a mountain of more recent data she could have cited to inform Hostin that Hispanic Republicans aren’t unusual anymore. Just this morning, the new WSJ poll found Republicans leading Democrats among Hispanics by nine points on the generic ballot, an unfathomable result. The numbers in Texas’s recent primaries were also eye-opening, affirming that the rightward shift among Hispanics that began a few years ago is still proceeding. Harry Enten:
All told, 27% of the Texans who voted Tuesday in the 16 most Hispanic counties cast a ballot in the Republican primary. This may not seem like a lot but consider that in 2018, just 15% of those who voted in either the Democratic or Republican primary cast a ballot on the Republican side.
In Starr County, 24% of primary votes were cast on the Republican side Tuesday. It was basically nothing in 2018, with a mere 0.2% of primary votes being cast on the Republican side. That’s a 24-point shift…
If anything, the picture gets better for Republicans when you examine Biden’s popularity. Across the CNN, Fox and Quinnipiac polls this year, the President’s net approval rating averages +2 points with Hispanic Americans. That’s 17 points better than his net approval rating with voters overall in these polls (-15 points).
In the 2020 election, Biden’s margin with Hispanic voters was about 23 points better than it was overall.
In other words, Biden has lost more ground with Hispanics over the past 16 months than he has with the average American voter. All eyes this fall will be on south Texas, where the GOP stands a fair chance of flipping a House district in a heavily Hispanic part of the state where it’s never held a House seat — ever. “Democrats are destroying a Latino culture built around God, family and patriotism, dozens of Hispanic voters and candidates in South Texas said in interviews,” the Times reported recently. “The Trump-era anti-immigrant rhetoric of being tough on the border and building the wall has not repelled these voters from the Republican Party or struck them as anti-Hispanic bigotry. Instead, it has drawn them in.”
When Hostin tried to demagogue Navarro for selling out her race by remaining a Republican, Navarro should have told her to read the polls.
I’ll leave you with one more clip from today’s show, scarcely any easier for Grisham than the one above was. Even though she’s right about Kamala Harris.
The View's Sunny Hostin claims any criticism of Kamala Harris's inappropriate laughter when discussing Ukrainian refugees in Poland is "based in racism" and "that’s the truth of it."
"What it is they constantly question the qualifications of black women," she said. pic.twitter.com/IyqePOLZOA
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) March 11, 2022