June 21, 2021

NBC host Chuck Todd on Sunday disputed Republican strategist Brad Todd after he claimed that outrage over critical race theory is a grassroots uprising among parents.

"You mention critical race theory," Brad Todd said. "This is a parent-led backlash at the grassroots level."

"It's manufactured," Chuck Todd interrupted. "And seems to sort have been lit. The fire was lit."

"I disagree," the GOP strategist argued. "I think it started because parents have had it with the education bureaucracy after COVID, they're fed up with it. They tend to trust Democrats when it comes to education funding but they trust Republicans on education accountability."

"I think what the backlash you're seeing on critical race theory in schools is another example of parents trying to hold educators accountable," he added.

But Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher countered by calling critical race theory a "tool" of Republican ideologues.

"It's coordinated, it's aggressive, it's intentional," Belcher explained. "This is part of the tribalism play. The critical race theory is yet another tool in the racial tribal boogeyman's toolbox to drive and inflame tribalism, which Republicans think helps them in elections."

"This is Trump 2.0, this is a continuation of this," he pointed out. "Critical race theory is sort of an arcane sort of ideal. Why is it front and center right now? The same reason that Mitch McConnell attacked Stacey Abrams when she came out for the voting bill. It is racial, it is tribalism. We've seen it grow under Trump and this is part and partial of it and they think this helps ignites their base."

Belcher concluded: "This is not grassroots and, Brad, you know this is organized and is being paid for."

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