On the occasions where MSNBC's Morning Joe actually starts to have an intelligent political debate, you can count on liberal co-host Mika Brzezinski to toss in a crude partisan comment.
The discussion this morning centered on Mitt Romney’s recent Medicare ads and whether or not they would be effective in the crucial battleground state of Florida. While the discussion offered a good punch counter-punch discussion between host Joe Scarborough and panelists John Heilemann and Sam Stein, Mika appeared particularly upset that too much time was spent discussing an Obama Super PAC ad implying that Mitt Romney was responsible for the death of a former employee’s wife instead of a Romney ad criticizing President Obama for gutting Medicare. [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
Brzezinski complained that her show was now discussing the Romney ad, “finally, after it made a dent in the polls.” Mika decided to take her frustration that the Romney ad is hurting Obama in the polls a step further by exclaiming, “Just because we're here [at the GOP convention] I didn't take a Republican stupid pill.”
To his credit, Scarborough let Brzezinski know that she was ‘way off mark’ with her comments, but failed to go far correct her insulting comments.
The Morning Joe program, like every other program on the MSNBC network, is known for its plethora of liberal guests, so for Mika to suggest that not enough time was spent critiquing Mitt Romney is absurd. It is one thing for Ms. Brzezinski to question the validity of campaign ads, but to trash the intelligence of Republicans by saying she “didn’t take a Republican stupid pill” is a new low for the liberal co-host.
See relevant transcript below.
August 28, 2012
6:08 a.m. EDT
JOHN HEILEMANN: It's an amazing thing. You just pointed out Mediscare tactics have been used by both party in different elections. This is an election where we’re going to see Mediscare used by both parties against each other in the same election. I think that’s historically unprecedented. I still with everything Mark [Halperin] said. You still gotta look at that Floridanumber. It’s interesting, there’s kind of that divergence in the polls. You’ve got these numbers that show Romney on the move on the Medicare thing making up ground but you still have Obama in a rare position for him at 50. There aren't that many places where he's at 50 or above and in Florida now it's 4 points, it’s within the margin of error but the Obama campaign has to look at that 50% number in Florida, a state that Mitt Romney must win to win the election. He cannot get there, he cannot get to 270 without Florida. Florida is looking better for the Obama campaign today than it looked three months ago where they were very concerned about Florida. So there's a little bit of good news in that poll, in our slew of polls on that issue for the democrats.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: And Sam Stein, what now do the Democrats think, operatives, people online, liberal bloggers who squealed with delight when Paul Ryan was selected because they said now we're going to go kill him on Medicare and the numbers have reversed?
SAM STEIN: I think it's cause for concern for these people and i think this gets to what romney can do with his money, which is you can neutralize issues like this, in addition to playing in different states. They’ve poured a lot of money into this ad and my colleague John Ward was reporting they think the most effective thing is not to criticize Obama for cutting Medicare. Because people just don't believe a Democratic president will cut Medicare. But it’s when they say Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney have a plan to save Medicare over the long term, that's what persuades voters. And if they can get it at a tactical advantage basically on Medicare that’s a huge win for Republicans. Obviously it’s been used by Democrats in the past. The one thing I would say for caution is that I think the Obama campaign has been sort of reserving itself to actually do their Medicare ads post-convention. I don't think they wanted to have that fight preconvention, they were going to let the Romney people go at it but i think they're going to be doing a lot of ads especially for you people unfortunately in Tampa and everywhere else during the closing weeks of the election.
WILLIE GEIST: Joe, let me ask you as a Florida guy, how concerned you'd be if you’re Mitt Romney. Jon just pointed out the Obama campaign has tightened it up a little bit here. This is must win. We talked yesterday about Michigan and Pennsylvania probably being out of play at this point for republicans. If he loses Florida, he can't win. Where do you think he sits right now?
SCARBOROUGH: Any time a Republican is behind in Florida at this stage of the campaign, I'm concerned. I mean, I'm concerned if I'm a Romney operative because you got Rick Scott, who is an extremely conservative governor. You've got a Florida legislature that's one of the most conservative in the country. I mean, Florida is not really a swing state if you look at statewide elections and the fact that Mitt Romney is still not connecting should be a real concern to him. We've got a long way to go. Florida is a state, by the way, where you win on T.V. in 30-second ads. It is massive and you've got to give the advantage right now moneywise to the Romney people. So it will be close.
STEIN: How many different targets are in Florida, too?
STEIN: That’s amazing.
SCARBOROUGH: I just made that number up. There are a lot.
STEIN: You would know, you're from Florida.
SCARBOROUGH: No, you just look at the big markets, you look at Jacksonville, you look at Orlando, you look at Tampa, you look at St. Pete, you look at southwest Florida, you look at Miami, you look at Tallahassee, of course Pensacola. There are so many markets that those 30-second ads, you can bury your opponent. So, I think in Florida if it's close, whoever has the most money probably wins in the end. Or this Medicare ad -- or we can even say this Mediscare ad it is working effectively for him.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Frustrating for the Obama campaign because they feel that perhaps more attention was given to ads that actually didn't air in terms of the analysis and critique.
SCARBOROUGH: We're talking about the Medicare ad right now that aired.
BRZEZINSKI: Finally, after it made a dent in the polls. Look that's true.
SCARBOROUGH: What's true?
BRZEZINSKI: We talked about an ad that didn't air that was made by a SuperPac.
STEIN: Talking about the SuperPac ad yeah.
SCARBOROUGH: Mika is living in the past.
BRZEZINSKI: Yeah but these polls are a result of this to an extent of the reaction to the ad and the ad that we did not cover.
SCARBOROUGH: Who is tonight's key note speaker?
BRZEZINSKI: Tonight’s keynote speaker….Am I wrong?
SCARBOROUGH: No, you're right.
BRZEZINSKI: Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: Well –
BRZEZINSKI: Okay, sorry. Just because we're here I didn't take a Republican stupid pill. I mean seriously.
SCARBOROUGH: You are so off the mark Mika I’m just going to let that go –
BRZEZINSKI: Am I off the mark?