Joe's Fury: 'Keep Your Mouths Shut' About 'Dying' McCain

On Tuesday’s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough went completely off the rails in defense of his friend Senator John McCain. Not only did Scarborough declare that anyone who wants to criticize McCain for his decisive role in striking down an ObamaCare repeal is inhuman, ‘raised in a barn,’ disrespectful, and undignified, but Joe even questioned the character, patriotism, and Christian morals of anyone who has criticized McCain and imperiously declared not once, but twice, that Trump and others must ‘keep [their] mouths shut.’

 

 

The segment began with a quick update on Trump placing principal blame on Senator McCain for sinking the ObamaCare repeal attempt that came up in the Senate this summer:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So you mentioned John McCain, President Trump continued to focus his blame for health care's failure on Senator John McCain, tweeting a six-and-a-half minute compilation video of the six-term senator and writing, quote: “A few of the many clips of John McCain talking about Repealing & Replacing O'Care. My oh my has he changed-complete turn from years of talk!” [...] Earlier in the day, [Trump] slammed McCain during a radio interview to promote Luther Strange in Alabama's Senate primary.

DONALD TRUMP: [clip from radio interview] We have fifty-two Senators. So, you lose two, you're out. When I ran, I was told I'd have a bill on my desk. I'd sign it day one. [...] And what McCain has done is a tremendous slap in the face of the Republican party. [...] That's the only reason we don't have it, is because of John McCain.

If you followed our coverage yesterday, you would not be surprised by Scarborough’s initial response to Trump’s newest comments:

So, Mike, you have a man who is struggling for his life, may not have much longer, and you have a President of the United States that is using him as a punchline. [...] And this guy, though, is President of the United States and he is attacking John McCain who is fighting for his very life and in a terrible, terrible struggle. Right now. Using him as a punchline in a political speech.

Mike Barnicle, longtime repeat contributor and guest on the show, wholeheartedly agreed with Joe:

John McCain, even with the state of his health today, at this very moment is and always has been a much stronger person than the President of the United States and the fact that the President chooses to attack him and blame the health care debacle strictly on John McCain is another indication this president has very little grasp on the details of both the presidency and the individual bills that he encounters during the course of each and every day.

But apparently, Scarborough was not satisfied with just leaving it there:

I mean, you have no humanity if you have a, if you have a man who is dying and you’re using him for political punchlines on talk radio. And also in audiences in Alabama. And by the way, for people watching at home: if you are in the audience and John McCain is getting attacked and he's fighting for his life, unless you were raised in a barn, keep your mouths shut. Alright? Show a little respect. Show a little dignity. Show a little class.

Joe’s frustration and anger showed through quite transparently here, but what was he so mad about? If someone chooses to play a significant part in the public policy arena, engage in public political debates, and vote on key legislation in an unpopular way, then he or she will be subject to criticism. Having an illness, no matter how serious, precludes neither the President nor the public from judging Senator McCain’s political acumen on its merits.

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However, Joe was far from done. In a rant so long and choleric that the cameraman simply zoomed in and focused on him for over two minutes straight, Joe all but made the case for deifying, or at least sainting, John McCain:

Who raised them [critics of McCain]? Who raised these people? Because I guarantee you, I was raised in the same region, in the same socioeconomic background going to the same Southern Baptist churches, going to the same public schools, going to the same public colleges, state schools, that these people went to. So I ask: who raised these people? Who have they become that they would boo a man who is fighting for his very life?

This is just pure, unabashed emotional manipulation coming from Joe. In the United States, no elected official should be above reproach.

Joe continued, unimpeded by reason or rebuttal of any kind and filled with extreme pathos:

And [McCain] has served this country in uniform, who is [sic] a prisoner of war, who was actually told: you know what, you can be released from prison because your father is really powerful, he's a powerful man, and so, just walk out of the prison, go home, you can be reunited with your family, we'll stop beating you, we’ll stop putting scars on your back, go home, you will be freed. And John McCain said, for those of you booing John McCain right now and are too ignorant to read a book, John McCain said: no, I'm not gonna go home until all my men go home with me. You should keep your mouths shut and you should go home and you should talk to your children and you should tell the story of John McCain to your children. A man who served his country in uniform when he could have done what Donald Trump did. He could have avoided the draft. His father was one of the most powerful men in America. He could have stayed home like Donald Trump and he could have chased models. But John McCain wanted to serve his country. And you know what? Even serving his country, when you put the uniform on, John McCain could have hid behind enemy lines. But you know what he wanted to do? He wanted to fight communism. And so he flew mission after mission after mission into North Vietnam. And when he got shot down and when he got beaten and when he got abused, to such a degree that the man can't even raise his arms up to his shoulders, he got thrown in prison and he refused to leave. Because John McCain said: I will not go until every one of my men go with me. Do you have the character to do that? Well, actually, if you’ve booed John McCain, you've already answered that question. Someone has failed you in your life. And you need to examine that. If you still go to church, you need to pray for yourself this Sunday morning in church. And then when you get your head screwed on right and you start putting humanity ahead of politics, against of [sic] stupidity, against of [sic] the tribalism that is destroying this country, then go home and tell your children the story of John McCain and what he did when things got tough and how he put others ahead of himself, ahead of his safety, even ahead of his freedom, ahead of his life. And if you can teach your children that lesson, maybe they will grow up to have a little more character than you. And if that is the case, then maybe there will be hope for this country yet.

If Scarborough really wants to heal the divisions of this country and stop ‘the tribalism that is destroying [it],’ perhaps he should examine more deeply why he is blowing such a small piece of criticism into such a mushroom cloud of a nuclear reaction.

The following is an extended transcript of the segment:

6:14 AM EST

(...)

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: So you mentioned John McCain, President Trump continued to focus his blame for health care's failure on Senator John McCain, tweeting a six-and-a-half minute compilation video of the six-term senator and writing, quote: “A few of the many clips of John McCain talking about Repealing & Replacing O'Care. My oh my has he changed-complete turn from years of talk!”

(...)

BRZEZINSKI: Earlier in the day, he [Trump] slammed McCain during a radio interview to promote Luther Strange in Alabama's Senate primary.

DONALD TRUMP: [clip from radio interview] We have fifty-two Senators. So, you lose two, you're out. When I ran, I was told I'd have a bill on my desk. I'd sign it day one. [...] And what McCain has done is a tremendous slap in the face of the Republican party. [...] That's the only reason we don't have it, is because of John McCain.

SCARBOROUGH: So, Mike, you have a man-

BRZEZINSKI: Who is-

SCARBOROUGH: -who is struggling for his life, may not have much longer, and you have a President of the United States-

BRZEZINSKI: [interjecting] Is not okay.

SCARBOROUGH: -that is using him as a punchline. Like, that's Ann Coulter material, who came on this show after Ted Kennedy died and made a ss-

BRZEZINSKI: [interrupting] And we haven't seen her since.

SCARBOROUGH: -made a snarly, nasty comment about a deceased man.

BRZEZINSKI: Not our choice. [hard to hear] We don’t want her back.

SCARBOROUGH: And this guy, though, is President of the United States and he is attacking John McCain who is fighting for his very life and in a terrible, terrible struggle. Right now.

MIKE BARNICLE: John McCain-

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] Using him as a punchline in a political speech.

BARNICLE: John McCain, even with the state of his health today, at this very moment is and always has been a much stronger person than the President of the United States and the fact that the President chooses to attack him and blame the health care debacle strictly on John McCain is another indication this president has very little grasp on the details of both the presidency and the individual bills that he encounters during the course of each and every day.

SCARBOROUGH: [interrupting] Very little.

BARNICLE: He, he has no idea what's in this health bill.

BRZEZINSKI: [interrupting] I don't think he cares.

SCARBOROUGH: Very little grasp and actually no humanity. I mean, you have no humanity if you have a, if you have a man who is dying and you’re using him for political punchlines on talk radio. And also in audiences in Alabama. And by the way, for people watching at home: if you are in the audience and John McCain is getting attacked and he's fighting for his life, unless you were raised in a barn, keep your mouths shut. Alright? Show a little respect. Show a little dignity. Show a little class. [softly] Go ahead.

MARK HALPERIN: Joe, the extent of the nature of the party now that, that's not what happens when John McCain gets mentioned at rallies by the President and his supporters.

BARNICLE: They boo.

HALPERIN: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: Who raised them? Who raised these people? Because I guarantee you, I was raised in the same region, in the same socioeconomic background going to the same Southern Baptist churches, going to the same public schools, going to the same public colleges, state schools, that these people went to. So I ask: who raised these people? Who have they become that they would boo a man who is fighting for his very life?

HALPERIN: And has served the country for decades.

SCARBOROUGH: And has served this country in uniform, who is [sic] a prisoner of war,-

BRZEZINSKI: Who suffered for this country.

SCARBOROUGH: -who was actually told: you know what, you can be released from prison because your father is really powerful, he's a powerful man, and so, just walk out of the prison, go home, you can be reunited with your family, we'll stop beating you, we’ll stop putting scars on your back, go home, you will be freed. And John McCain said, for those of you booing John McCain right now and are too ignorant to read a book, John McCain said: no, I'm not gonna go home until all my men go home with me. You should keep your mouths shut and you should go home and you should talk to your children and you should tell the story of John McCain to your children. A man who served his country in uniform when he could have done what Donald Trump did. He could have avoided the draft. His father was one of the most powerful men in America. He could have stayed home like Donald Trump and he could have chased models. But John McCain wanted to serve his country. And you know what? Even serving his country, when you put the uniform on, John McCain could have hid behind enemy lines. But you know what he wanted to do? He wanted to fight communism. And so he flew mission after mission after mission into North Vietnam. And when he got shot down and when he got beaten and when he got abused, to such a degree that the man can't even raise his arms up to his shoulders, he got thrown in prison and he refused to leave. Because John McCain said: I will not go until every one of my men go with me. Do you have the character to do that? Well, actually, if you’ve booed John McCain, you've already answered that question. Someone has failed you in your life. And you need to examine that. If you still go to church, you need to pray for yourself this Sunday morning in church. And then when you get your head screwed on right and you start putting humanity ahead of politics, against of [sic] stupidity, against of [sic] the tribalism that is destroying this country, then go home and tell your children the story of John McCain and what he did when things got tough and how he put others ahead of himself, ahead of his safety, even ahead of his freedom, ahead of his life. And if you can teach your children that lesson, maybe they will grow up to have a little more character than you. And if that is the case, then maybe there will be hope for this country yet. We'll be right back.

(...)


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