Donny Deutsch Disses Rep. Diaz-Balart: Statement on Cuba Deal 'Inane'

It's good that we live in a country where citizens feel free to criticize elected officials to their face.  Just wondering, though: when was the last time that freedom was exercised on MSNBC to tell a Dem official that something he said was "inane?"

On today's Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch angrily asked Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Miami "why do you say an inane thing like that?" Deutsch's diss came in the context of a heated exchange in which Diaz-Balart told Donny that his notion that the Cuba deal was "liberating" for the Cuban people was "naive" and that Deutsch was living "in la-la land."  Deutsch later retaliated, calling Diaz-Balart naive.

Note that Diaz-Balart knows a thing or two about conditions in Cuba.  His late father had been a prominent anti-Castro politican on the island, and his late aunt was the first wife of . . . Fidel.


DONNY DEUTSCH: Congressman, to sit and just look at the last 50 years and continue as is has been nothing but a failure versus taking a step to open the door to the future, to liberating 11 million Cubans, to bringing them into the 21st century. How do you argue with that with the argument that we are giving in to terrorists? It is such a flawed argument. This is not ISIS. This is a country 90 miles away. This has been long coming. And aren't you just giving us the typical Republican "I have to say this" versus -- 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mario, Democrats also disagree with this too, right? 

MARIO DIAZ-BALART: Oh yeah: there's bipartisan objections to what the president has done. And it's interesting: I mean, it's a little naive on your part to say that now the Cuban people have been liberated. Excuse me? Liberated?  You tell me --

DEUTSCH: Would you say it's a major step in that direction?

DIAZ-BALART: How can you say that the Cuban people have been liberated when the Cuban people are suffering from great repression, when arrests have doubled in this last year and the response of the President of the United States is to give concessions after concession. And by the way, there is no secret that the Castro brothers have been asking for what the president has just given them. And what is the rest of the world, what is the United States getting and the Cuban people getting in response for these concessions? Frankly, very little. Look, again, you might believe that the Cuban people have been liberated. But then you are obviously living in la-la land.

DEUTSCH: I believe it's certainly a major step in that direction versus putting our head in the sand and continue with clearly what has not worked over the last five decades. To say that we're not walking in that direction is naive on your part [dramatic pause], congressman.

DIAZ-BALART: I like how now you're changing your tune. So now you're saying that they have not been liberated. At least I like the fact that you're correcting yourself. 

DEUTSCH: No, I'm not telling you.  Why do you say an inane thing like that? I said it's a move towards liberating the people of Cuba versus staying where we were. Is that not correct? Is this going the opposite direction? Putting them under more repression by doing this?   

DIAZ-BALART: This is not liberating the people of Cuba. This is giving concessions to the Castro regime that the Castro regime has been asking for. 

Foreign Policy Cuba Political Groups Communists MSNBC Morning Joe Donnie Deutsch Joe Scarborough Fidel Castro

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