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An MSNBC segment went off the rails Saturday during a debate over voter suppression as left-wing legal analyst Elie Mystal and Republican strategist Rufus Montgomery clashed in a fiery confrontation.

The breakdown happened as the two appeared together on “The Cross Connection,” with Mystal claiming it was because of “Republicans on the [Supreme] Court” that voting rights of Black Americans were being hindered and Montgomery blasting Mystal for “still crying about voter suppression” despite Democrats controlling both Houses of Congress and the White House.

MSNBC analyst Elie Mystal and Republican strategist Rufus Montgomery engage in debate on voters suppression while appearing on “The Cross Connection” on April 23, 2022. (Screenshot/MSNBC)
(Screenshot/MSNBC)

DAN CRENSHAW: VOTER SUPPRESSION FROM ELECTION LAWS A ‘LIE,’ ‘MYTH’

Liberal host Tiffany Cross began the discussion by claiming voter suppression had “always been” a Republican tactic, and asked Montgomery what the party was doing to help everyone vote “fairly and freely.”

Montgomery responded by praising the election law Georgia passed in 2021 aimed at ensuring election integrity and pushed back on Cross, who was repeating Democratic talking points about the bill and describing the policies as “garbage.”

He argued that Democrat run states like Delaware and New York had stricter voting rules in place than Georgia, and that providing food and water to voters in line posed a potential public health concern, despite Cross suggesting not doing so would amount to voter suppression.

Mystal jumped in, launching a rant about past Supreme Court cases and claiming Supreme Court justices appointed by Republicans “took” voting rights way.

A police officer patrols in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Photographer: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A police officer patrols in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Photographer: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

MEDIA WATCHDOG: PRESS IS ‘LYING TO YOU ABOUT ELECTIONS’ AS DEBATE HEATS UP OVER DEMOCRATIC VOTING BILLS

“Who took away the Voting Rights Act in 2013? Was that Democrats or Republicans? … That was Republican John Roberts, who eviscerated the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Let’s fast-forward to 2021, Brnovich v. Arizona. Who said that Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act was no longer applicable?” Mystal said, appearing frustrated.

“Do you know what section two of the Voting Rights Act does? Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act is how I get to sue for racism in voting. Who took that away? Was it Democrats? No, no, no! That would be Sam Alito, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas. That’s five people, all appointed by Republicans, Rufus, not Democrats,” he added, flailing his arms.

The conversation broke down and became inaudible as the two attempted to speak over each other, before Montgomery was finally able to break through and blame Democrats for putting in place “the nuclear option” that allowed Supreme Court nominees to be confirmed with a simple majority vote in the Senate.

Mystal attempted to interrupt Montgomery, but the latter stopped him.

Demonstrators hold signs during a march for voting rights, marking the 58th anniversary of the March on Washington, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Demonstrators hold signs during a march for voting rights, marking the 58th anniversary of the March on Washington, Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

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“Hold on now, I let you talk. Let me talk. Let me talk,” Montgomery said. “I wanted to find out, what did your vote actually get? You have the House, you have the Senate, you have the White House, and you’re still crying about voter suppression. How much more voter suppression do you need? At what point are you going to move from talking about voting suppression and moving into outcomes? Outcomes, particularly for Black people.”

“Every two years, every four years, we hear, ‘Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote, vote, vote.’ But what are you specifically getting for your vote? What are you saying to Black people after you say voting?” he added. “That’s fine, I agree with you. No voter suppression. Let’s end it. But what happens next? What are you specifically doing to help Black people with their voting. And I don’t hear that from you?”

Cross noted that Montgomery posed “a fair question,” but ended the segment without letting Mystal respond.

 

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