Maddow: ‘Racist’ brand became ‘badge of honor’ in midterms (VIDEO)

theGRIO VIDEO - MSNBC's Rachel Maddow tells theGrio's Todd Johnson race is playing a bigger role in this year's midterm elections...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recently sat down with theGrio’s Todd Johnson to discuss minority voter suppression and intimidation at the polls.

Maddow said she has been troubled by some GOP candidates, namely Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle, whose campaign strategies involve purposeful racial insensitivity.

“You have seen [some candidates in the GOP] wearing ‘racist’ as a badge of honor…that’s something they’re trying to turn into a positive,” Maddow said. “That’s not new in America, but that…I think that is new in this itieration of American politics.”

Maddow, who describes the period leading up to today’s mid-term elections as “frantic,” says some conservative candidates are “counting on” being called racist because they feel it will translate into votes.

So, will it?

“Yes,” Maddow said. “I think the reason people do this is because it works. I do think that [these candidates] do underestimate the number of pro-civil rights white voters who will be turned off by this.”

Follow theGrio’s Todd Johnson on Twitter at @rantoddj