In the wake of what turned out to be an accurate prediction that Donald Trump would win the 2016 presidential election, in part because of support in rust-belt states, Michael Moore has been talking further about what led him to realize, over the summer, that Trump was connecting with people in a way that would lead to victory.
On Friday, the filmmaker stopped by MSNBC’s Morning Joe for what he said was planned to be a seven-minute appearance but turned into a 45-minute discussion, as part of a panel, that aired on the cable channel without commercials.
During the wide-ranging discussion, Moore talked about why Trump connected with working people in states like Wisconsin and Michigan, why he and others will continue to oppose the president-elect and wondered aloud, as he has in the past, why the Democratic party doesn’t “run more beloved Americans,” like Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey.
As for Trump’s appeal, Moore, who supported Bernie Sanders and went on to support Hillary Clinton in the general election, said that he’s in Trump’s “demographic.”
“I am an angry white guy over the age of 35. And I have just a high-school education, so I grew up with it, I lived with it, I still live with it,” he said. He explained that he realized that the media didn’t seem to get Trump’s appeal when he saw on Morning Joe, a few weeks before the election, people laughing about how the Trump campaign expense report showed they’d spent more money on hats than they had on anything else, like polling or efforts to get out the vote.
“I looked at that and I thought, ‘Wow, there’s the bubble right there. They don’t understand,'” he said putting on his own cap. “This is where we’re from. This is where I live. And so to make fun of — [people in the Midwest wear baseball hats].”
Moore and Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough agreed that someone who buys and wears, every day, a baseball cap in support of a candidate, will vote for that candidate.
“It was laughable that [Trump’s campaign] wasn’t spending the money on getting new polls. [Critics said,] ‘They have no ground game.’ Are you kidding me? First of all, the ground game has occurred over the last 30 years,” Moore continued. “And this did not turn people into Republicans. Because it started under Ronald Reagan, in Detroit, where people lost tens of thousands of jobs and their lives were decimated and they were kicked out of the middle class. And when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers and the other unions didn’t stand up and say anything or do anything, that was the end, right there. And it just got worse and worse and worse for working people.”
He also argued that when Trump made his comment during the first debate that not paying taxes “makes me smart,” his supporters liked that even though the media thought it was outrageous.
“Do you understand that people who struggle from paycheck to paycheck — they admire — On April 10, they sit there not trying to pay the government anything,” Moore said.
Moore indicated that the Democrats should have seen Bernie Sanders’ success, particularly in states like Michigan and Wisconsin, which Trump also did well in, as a warning sign.
They both reflected people’s desire for change, he explained, adding “How else do you explain a socialist [winning 22 states]? This is not a socialist country. People didn’t care about the label.”
And he went on to say that people who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 changed their mind in 2016, not wanting another eight years with “no middle-class jobs, where they’re struggling to get by.” He also said that even though Obama showed up in Flint, Michigan five months ago and drank the water, the pipes have still not been replaced and the water’s “still poisoned.” But the media stopped ignoring those problems after the president’s visit, Moore said.
And Moore himself saw that Clinton wasn’t going to win hours before the election results came in.
“I was there. I was there up until 2 a.m. on Election Day, holding rallies, trying to turn it around on my own,” he said. “I’m not part of the campaign, I was just doing my own thing. And I could see that this wasn’t going to happen and that what I’d said back in the summer was sadly going to be true.”
Now, going forward, he understands and approves of Obama and Clinton saying people should have an open mind, but he’s not going to do that.
“We are going to resist. We are going to oppose,” he said. “Those demonstrations you’re seeing on the streets. When it’s in places like Milwaukee — that’s not Berkeley and Ann Arbor. This is going to continue tonight and the next night. All he has to do is start nominating Rudy Giuliani as attorney general and things like that. Or [make] his Supreme Court [picks]. This is going to be a massive resistance. There’s already — women are calling for a million woman march on the Inauguration Day. There’s going to be the largest demonstration ever on Inauguration Day. We’re also going to organize.”
Moore also suggested that Trump could wind up getting impeached before his first term is up, saying, “He doesn’t support any ideology except the ideology of Donald J. Trump. And when you have a narcissist like that who’s so narcissistic where it’s all about him, he will break laws. He will break laws, because he’s only thinking about what’s best for him.”
The filmmaker also suggested that Democrats do as the Republicans have done and run Hollywood stars, something he also suggested in 2010.
“Why don’t Democrats run more beloved Americans? Why don’t we run Tom Hanks? Why don’t we run Oprah? Tell me Oprah would lose,” he said.
Watch Moore’s full appearance below.