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Tucker Carlson debated a Democratic strategist who agreed with some of Hillary Clinton's recent statements, saying that President Trump relied on a southern-strategy-type campaign message to win in 2016.

Clinton told CBS' Charlie Rose that watching Trump on Inauguration Day was "an out of body experience," which culminated in a speech "from the white nationalist gut."

Michael Starr Hopkins said Clinton's assertion deserved some credence, as he said Trump used a "Lee Atwater playbook" during his campaign.

Atwater, a top Republican operative who eventually led President George H.W. Bush's campaign, used to speak of a "southern strategy."

The "southern strategy" relied on appealing to racist tendencies in the Civil Rights-era South, in order to garner votes away from popular Democrats like former Gov. George Wallace (D-Ala.) and instead toward Republicans like the 1964 presidential nominee, Barry Goldwater of Arizona.

Those who believe that the Republicans - formed in part as an abolitionist party - and Democrats effectively inverted themselves ideologically in the mid-20th century often point to the "southern strategy" in their arguments. 

Hopkins said that, at the time, Richard Nixon was a proponent of the "Make America Great Again" message, which was later borrowed by Ronald Reagan.

"Donald Trump hearkened back to the Nixon strategy," Hopkins said. 

"What Donald Trump was actually hearkening to was urban cities [as] forgotten places," he said, asserting that Trump saw residents as "nothing but criminals."

Carlson said Starr's position was preposterous, because many cities are run "as Democratic vote farms."

"Does the Klan want to hear how we need to send more money to Detroit?" he asked.

Watch the full debate above.


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