On Wednesday, MSNBC’s Morning Joe hosted a number of guests to evaluate President Trump’s performance during the previous night’s State of the Union address. Notably present was political consultant and pollster Frank Luntz, whose defense of the President’s speech earned him considerable flak from anchors Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
The trouble started when Luntz criticized Democrats for refusing to applaud the economic progress that the President mentioned in his speech.
“I think they felt that he was taking credit for all of that,” Brzezinski interjected. “And I think they found that insulting, since he can’t for much of it.”
This point of contention sparked an economic argument. Luntz quickly found himself sparring with three panelists eager to explain why the President could not claim credit for the current state of the economy. He eventually dropped the issue, but much to Ms. Brzezinski’s chagrin, he continued to defend the President. “Why can’t people give him credit for what happened? Why can’t they give him credit for his speech...?” he asked.
“I think because he’s literally screwed everybody in that room over a few times too many,” countered Brzezinski.
She proceeded to list a litany of gripes against the President as the exasperated pollster continuously asked, “What about the speech?”
“You tell me that that room is supposed to respond like this,” she said, clapping, “to the great dictator?”
He protested, “No, but they’re not supposed to sit on their hands.”
“Really?” she shot back. “I’m not sure.”
Luntz chided Brzezinski’s epithet as inappropriate, which only increased the tension between the two as the segment continued. “That’s how he feels of himself,” she insisted.
This exchange set the tone for the rest of the conversation, and while there were no more major confrontations, Brzezinski remained visibly angry. As the segment drew to a close, she thanked only Walter Isaacson, the other guest on the panel, for appearing on the show. An embarrassed Scarborough leapt in and thanked Frank Luntz for participating as well.