Appearing as a panel member on MSNBC's MTP Daily on Wednesday, Daily Beast columnist and MSNBC contributor Jonathan Alter tagged Republicans as the "Banana Republican Party," and declared that both men who have a chance to be the nominee -- Donald Trump and Ted Cruz -- are "manifestly unfit for high office."
As Mary Kissel of the Wall Street Journal jumped in to remind him that, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is under FBI investigation, Alter dismissively asserted that it was "not a criminal investigation."
On the March 23 show, during a discussion of what would likely happen at the Republican convention, after substitute host Steve Kornacki wondered if it would have to be either Trump or Cruz chosen as the nominee, the MSNBC contributor made his "banana republic" crack:
I think Cruz on a second or third ballot could maybe put enough votes together to win the nomination. So it's either going to be Trump or Cruz, which means that this is now the "Banana Republican Party." Both of these men are manifestly unfit for high office.
You have an awful lot of Republicans who call Donald Trump a "con man" and then, out of the other side of their mouth, say they'll support him if he's the nominee, which is kind of like saying you want a con man as President.
Kissel then injected: "I'm sorry. I just have to correct the record. You have a Democratic frontrunner who is under FBI investigation-"
Alter bristled: "No, not criminal investigation. Let's talk about your party."
The two went back and forth a bit more:
MARY KISSEL: -and you have an independent socialist who-
JONATHAN ALTER: He's not going to win the nomination. It's not realistic.
KISSEL: But he's still a serious contender.
ALTER: No he's not.