You Don’t Have to Yell: Scarborough Goes Bonkers Doubling Down on ‘Moscow Mitch’ Jabs

Channeling Bernie Sanders on Wednesday’s Hardball, MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host and Trump friend-turned-foe Joe Scarborough loudly pontificated about the “un-American” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) aka “Moscow Mitch” for not, in his mind, sufficiently pushing back against Russian meddling and trying to destroy the health care of millions.

The discussion started with health care and Tuesday’s 2020 Democratic presidential debate (which we’ll get to), but the topic shifted thereafter to McConnell with Matthews gushing that Scarborough “got under his skin,” which “reminds me of Tokyo Rose, and he didn't like it one bit.”

 

 

“I think he heard Tokyo Rose. It's questioning if he really cares about our country or simply maintaining his majority or this country. What do you think is going on in his corner right now? What are you hearing about his burning from this thing,” he added.

Scarborough screeched that he “hear[s] they’re upset, but I think Americans actually have every right to be upset” before going on a bender about how his late father from Kentucky would have been outraged by McConnell not passing the Democratic-driven measures.

Here’s the rest of his rant that, if Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) had been on set, he would have told Scarborough what he told Sanders on Tuesday (click “expand”):

[A]nd my dad would have never understood any American doing what Mitch McConnell's doing right now. The CIA, the Republican appointed director of the CIA, the Republican-appointed director of the FBI, the Republican-appointed director of national intelligence, the Republican-appointed Department of Homeland Security chief, the United States military have all said explicitly — here we go, are you ready for this? That Russia poses a grave threat to American democracy. They said that. Not Democrats, not talk show hosts on MSNBC. The FBI, the CIA, the DNI, the United States military, all said that Russia was doing that, and we needed to try to stop it. And, Chris, he's not just killing Democratic bills to protect us from Putin's meddling, he’s killing Marco Rubio's bill that simply says if we catch you meddling in our elections and undermining American democracy, we will sanction you. Can you believe Mitch McConnell even killed that bill? That's not just wrong. That's un-American. 

Matthews responded that “I’m with you” and moved onto whether President Donald Trump putting a focus on the horrid state of affairs in Baltimore and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has been calculated, Scarborough opined it’s the latest example of how “presidents get elected a certain way.” 

Taking a page from Steve Schmidt’s playbook by ranting on and on and on, Scarborough continued (click “expand”):

So Donald Trump because of James Comey's letter, because of a lot of different things got elected in a once-in-a-lifetime anomaly and he thinks that he can play that game again, but what he is doing is by being racist, by attacking these individual members of Congress, he's chasing off the suburban voters. He’s chasing off women. He’s chasing off voters who — who — remember, I think I saw it on your show last night. He was very proud that they stayed at home. That black voters stayed at home and didn't vote for Hillary Clinton. Well, guess what? Guess what? They're going to be mobilized. People of color are going to be mobilized, and Donald Trump is going to pay for it. So it's really shortsighted. I don't understand why he is doing it and anybody that thinks that's going to help him win the Philly’s of suburbs — the — the suburbs of Philly have never been to the suburbs of Philly. 

The segment began with health care and the two pointing out that the socialist health care proposals couldn’t fetch 60 votes in the Senate, but Scarborough found a way to make it about McConnell by kvetching about “how Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have spent the last three years trying to strip health care coverage from millions of Americans, trying to strip preexisting protections for millions of Americans, trying to do all of these things while they get the biggest pharmaceutical companies on the planet and they give the biggest multinational corporations regarding health care massive tax cuts.”

Scarborough also informed liberal viewers that they’re “facing Mike Tyson next year, and this is like a Princeton Diner’s Club having intermural squabbles instead of taking the fight to Donald Trump.”

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on July 31, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
July 31, 2019
7:38 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS:  Joe, a couple of things. Were you watching? When you watched the debate last night, were you kind of stunned by the unreality of a lot of arguments about how they're going to do this big health care thing, they're going to rich the — tax all the rich, they're going pay for health care, they're going to pay for everything, hearing aides, teeth dentures, everything they're paying for, and it's all going to come from this new program they're going to pass through the Senate and I kept thinking it takes sexty [sic] — 60 senators to get any of that through if it's programmatic and you have Mitch McConnell with control of 53 right now. How do you beat him? How do you get anywhere near 60 senators if you're a Democratic presidential candidate? 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, it really is unbelievable that the Democrats kept going on and on about how they were going to provide universal health care to Americans instead of talking about how Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have spent the last three years trying to strip health care coverage from millions of Americans — 

MATTHEWS: Right. 

SCARBOROUGH: — trying to strip preexisting protections for millions of Americans, trying to do all of these things while they get the biggest pharmaceutical companies on the planet and they give the biggest multinational corporations regarding health care massive tax cuts. So I sat there saying wait, wait, you're facing Mike Tyson next year, and this is like a Princeton Diner’s Club having intermural squabbles instead of taking the fight to Donald Trump and they just didn't do it and by the way, Chris, you're — you’re completely right. Union members in Youngstown, Ohio, as Tim Ryan was saying, I’m sitting there going, “wait a second. You're going to give me health care for life. You're going give me free dental. You're going give me free everything, and wait, I'm supposed to give up my union contract for that? No.” They're not going to do it. 

MATTHEWS: Right. 

SCARBOROUGH: And it’s — it's every bit as unrealistic as Donald Trump promising in 2016 that he would going to provide universal health care, that everybody's deductible is going down and they're going have better coverage. Democrats need to say we're for universal health care and the other side is against it. Let's work together to beat Mitch McConnell, to beat Donald and to assure that ObamaCare which is a big deal, Biden was right about that, that ObamaCare is mended and not ended. 

MATTHEWS: Well, let's talk about how you get after McConnell. You got under his skin, obviously, Moscow — I mean, this reminds me of Tokyo Rose, and he didn't like it one bit. I think he heard Tokyo Rose. It's questioning if he really cares about our country or simply maintaining his majority or this country. What do you think is going on in his corner right now? What are you hearing about his burning from this thing? 

SCARBOROUGH: Well, I hear they're upset, but I think Americans actually have every right to be upset because think about this, Chris. My dad — my dad's a Kentucky native. My mom and dad met at the University of Kentucky. My dad dragged the family around. We used to follow Adolph Rupp’s Kentucky Wildcats throughout the late '60s and '70s and — and my dad would have never understood any American doing what Mitch McConnell's doing right now. The CIA, the Republican appointed director of the CIA, the Republican-appointed director of the FBI, the Republican-appointed director of national intelligence, the Republican-appointed Department of Homeland Security chief, the United States military have all said explicitly — here we go, are you ready for this? That Russia poses a grave threat to American democracy. They said that. Not Democrats, not talk show hosts on MSNBC. The FBI, the CIA, the DNI, the United States military, all said that Russia was doing that, and we needed to try to stop it. And, Chris, he's not just killing Democratic bills to protect us from Putin's meddling, he’s killing Marco Rubio's bill that simply says if we catch you meddling in our elections and undermining American democracy, we will sanction you. Can you believe Mitch McConnell even killed that bill? That's not just wrong. That's un-American. 

MATTHEWS: I'm with you. Let's go to — President — his Twitter — coming out of Trumpland today attacks Congressman Elijah Cummings again. It's eliciting criticism that Trump is using a strategy of racial division coming into the 2020 campaign. However, according to The Wall Street Journal, the President's advisers concede “the tweets are necessarily helpful to [Mr.] Trump's reelection efforts but said they marked yet another case of the president prioritizing the personal over the presidential.” Whatever that is? Do you think Trump is doing this surgically saying, “I'll get this racial number in right now, and next year near the election, oil cool it down, I'll cool my jets. I'll have gotten the people I want behind them, some of the rough people. I'll have them behind me and then I can become a regular President for a while the Democrats run a socialist against me or a very hard left candidate and I'll be the middle of the roader.” Do you think he is calculating like that or he just has bad instincts on race? 

SCARBOROUGH: You know, we've seen it before. You've seen it. I've seen it. Presidents get elected a certain way. Everybody tells them they're never going to get elected, and whether it's Donald Trump or Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Jimmy Carter, whoever it is, they go into the White House thinking, “wait a second, everybody was wrong about me.” Even George H.W. Bush, one of the most humble men in the White House, once asked an adviser when he was losing in 1992, if you're so G-d smart, why aren't you president?” So Donald Trump because of James Comey's letter, because of a lot of different things got elected in a once-in-a-lifetime anomaly and he thinks that he can play that game again, but what he is doing is by being racist, by attacking these individual members of Congress, he's chasing off the suburban voters. He’s chasing off women. He’s chasing off voters who — who — remember, I think I saw it on your show last night. He was very proud that they stayed at home. That black voters stayed at home and didn't vote for Hillary Clinton. 

MATTHEWS: Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH: Well, guess what? Guess what? They're going to be mobilized. People of color are going to be mobilized, and Donald Trump is going to pay for it. So it's really shortsighted. I don't understand why he is doing it and anybody that thinks that's going to help him win the Philly’s of suburbs — the — the suburbs of Philly have never been to the suburbs of Philly. 

MATTHEWS: Yeah, I know. Hey, Joe, the way you described his lucky punch reminds me of Ingmar Johansson, the Swedish boxer, who won the heavyweight championship of the world —

SCARBOROUGH: Yeah

MATTHEWS: — because he had one punch, his thunder and lightning punch. He never won again. 

NB Daily Congress Russia Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video Chris Matthews Joe Scarborough Mitch McConnell Donald Trump
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