Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe confessed on his show Tuesday morning that he is “sounding more like” a Democrat every morning.
The comment came up while panelists were discussing the end of the government shutdown. Commentary Magazine’s Noah Rothman argued that the C.H.I.P. funding secured in the Monday bill to reopen the government amounted to an optics defeat for congressional Democrats, as last Friday’s bill – which Democrats voted against – had contained the same proposal. Scarborough disagreed: “But if I'm a Democrat, and of course, I'm not, but God knows I'm sounding more like one every morning...”
Scarborough’s fumble elicited chuckles from his fellow panelists, while his fiancee and co-host Mika Brezinski replied, “I’m very proud of you.”
He continued excitedly, “If I’m a Democrat, and I went back to my Town Hall meeting, and they said, ‘You backed down!’ I would say, ‘I did what? I guaranteed – by standing up to Donald Trump and making sure he was out of this process – I guaranteed C.H.I.P. funding.’”
The former-Republican-turned-Independent went on to explain how Democrats could frame the extension of C.H.I.P. funding as a policy victory: “You're telling me that a three-day shutdown wasn't worth guaranteeing health care for millions and millions of the truly disadvantaged children? That's a win for Democrats if they know how to spin it the right way.”
Interestingly, after characterizing his own narrative as pro-Democrat spin, Scarborough went on to repeat that argument five times within the next hour on his show. He even framed the policy as a triumph of negotiation during a conversation with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE):
How could [Democrats] not celebrate the fact that in exchange for keeping the government open for three weeks, you were able to get health care for nine million of the most truly disadvantaged children across America, and get that funding for six years? What progressive would not call that a victory?
Senator Coons appeared amused by this remark, but was ultimately less enthused. The Senator explained that while the secured funding was a plus, he and his colleagues considered it only one of “several other important things not addressed.”
Scarborough, not deterred by the answer, pressed the issue further: “Senator, those are still on the table... And this morning, nine million children from the least advantaged homes in America know, they’re going to have health care reform.”
As panelist Noah Rothman pointed out earlier in the segment, Republicans had already included C.H.I.P. in any short-term funding measure, meaning Democrats could have secured the funding on Friday without shutting down the government. However, Scarborough would never let something as trivial as the truth get in the way of liberal talking points.