Scarborough: I’m Getting ‘Panicked Calls’ From Dems About 2020

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On Monday’s Morning Joe, MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough revealed that he has been inundated with “panicked calls” from Democrats terrified by the prospect of President Trump winning reelection due to the weak 2020 Democratic field. He recalled desperate liberal voters asking him, “Joe, what do we do?”

“Since Iowa, we’ve all got the phone calls. We’ve all talked to the voters. They are very concerned with the current field right now,” Scarborough noted as the show broadcasted live from New Hampshire, ahead of Tuesday’s Democratic primary. He then recounted all the nervous Democrats who have contacted him: “I can tell you, a lot of panicked calls this week....A lot of panicked calls and emails and texts...”

 

 

Scarborough described the calls: “I got panic, ‘Joe, what do we do? What are we going to do? This is – we’re in desperate straits. What’s going to happen? Are we going to win?’” He concluded: “There is just this fear that among the current crop of candidates, there’s a fear that there may not be the ability to take down Donald Trump.”

Co-host Willie Geist vouched to having similar conversations with worried Democrats: “Yeah, you hear it time and again. I heard it a lot last week. Particularly because of what happened in Iowa, which looked like a big mess to Democrats. But also because the President was acquitted on impeachment...”

In the 7:00 a.m. ET hour, similarly panicked Democratic strategist James Carville appeared on the program to predict the “end of days” if Bernie Sanders became the party’s 2020 nominee.

During MSNBC’s 11:00 a.m. ET hour, fill-in anchor Chris Jansing turned to former Hillary Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri and anxiously cited a Washington Post article titled: “‘Tempted to despair’: Trump’s resilience causes Democrats to sound the alarm.” In it, Palmieri was quoted as saying, “The obsession with concocting the Frankenstein to take on Trump has confined us all.”

 

 

The liberal political strategist explained her pessimistic analysis of the 2020 Democratic field: “I was struck in Iowa and in New Hampshire, talking to voters, that they felt paralyzed by their choices....they’re scared to make the wrong choice because they feel like the stakes are so high about beating Trump.”

After Jansing lamented the “bad news” of Trump being “a master at knowing his audience” and  “defining his opponents,” an exasperated Palmieiri told her fellow Democrats: “So there is a lot that we are up against, which is why I was like, stop fussing about him, put him aside. He is in everybody’s brains.”

Jansing struggled with the advice: “But as you know, it’s much easier to say than to do.”

Near the end of the segment, Palmieri proclaimed: “I think that’s why you see Democrats feel so unsettled, is they’re too focused on guessing who can be good in reaction to Trump. And I just think that’s, like, what paralyzes you.”

When the Democrats hit the panic button, the media are never far behind.

Here is a transcript of the February 10 segment on Morning Joe:

6:31 AM ET

(...)

JOE SCARBOROUGH: But you know, Willie, again, we don’t know what’s going to happen but we do know this – since Iowa, we’ve all got the phone calls. We’ve all talked to the voters. They are very concerned with the current field right now.

WILLIE GEIST: Yes.

SCARBOROUGH: And are saying, I mean, how many panicked calls – I can tell you, a lot of panicked calls this week.

GEIST: Oh, yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: From people – it’s funny. A lot of panicked calls and emails and texts from people who have always said in the past, “Oh, you’re a Republican. You know what, I don’t want to hear from you.” I said, “Well, I’m not a Republican. I’m an independent.” They said, “Well, still, you don’t know what the Democrats need.” I heard that for about six months. I’m not hearing that anymore.

I got panic, “Joe, what do we do? What are we going to do? This is – we’re in desperate straits. What’s going to happen? Are we going to win?” Because there is such – and they’re doing that to everybody. I mean, I’m sure they’re calling you and everybody. There is just this fear that among the current crop of candidates, there’s a fear that there may not be the ability to take down Donald Trump.

GEIST: Yeah, you hear it time and again. I heard it a lot last week. Particularly because of what happened in Iowa...

SCARBOROUGH: Right.

GEIST: ...which looked like a big mess to Democrats. But also because the President was acquitted on impeachment, he felt emboldened that he’s going to burn down everything in front of him now from here forward. He feels like he survived impeachment.

(...)

Here are excerpts of the exchange between Jansing and Palmieri later that morning:

11:34 AM ET

(...)

CHRIS JANSING: The Washington Post headline is “‘Tempted to despair’: Trump’s resilience causes Democrats to sound the alarm.” And your quoted, among the things you say, “The obsession with concocting the Frankenstein to take on Trump has confined us all.” What is that?

JENNIFER PALMIERI: I was struck in Iowa and in New Hampshire, talking to voters, that they felt paralyzed by their choices. There were a lot of choices –

JANSING: That’s why we have so many undecideds.

PALMIERI: Yes, and they’re scared to make the wrong choice because they feel like the stakes are so high about beating Trump.

(...)

PALMIERI: I think when you get all tangled up in trying to figure out, and you know, micro-manage who’s the best person to take on Trump, that’s where the Frankenstein comes in. And it has confined our own thinking and I think it’s limited the candidates to not being perhaps as – not as bold, but maybe as visionary as they could be. And I think that’s why you see support galvanizing, at least to some degree, behind Bernie Sanders, who has put forward a really – you know, it’s a little left of where I have been.

(...)

JANSING: Let me give you a good news/bad news on the Donald Trump front and see what you think sort of balances out. What’s good, I think, is as far as I’ve seen, Donald Trump has shown no sign of trying to expand his political base, right? Everything he does and says seems to be aimed there. Maybe you disagree and think he’s actually appealing to the middle. But the bad news, and I think that’s what you’re taking about, he’s a master at knowing his audience, he’s a master at communicating, and at defining his opponents.

(...)

PALMIERI: So there is a lot that we are up against, which is why I was like, stop fussing about him, put him aside. He is in everybody’s brains.

JANSING: But as you know, it’s much easier to say than to do.  

PALMIEIRI: He is in everybody’s brains.

(...)

PALMIERI: I think that’s why you see Democrats feel so unsettled, is they’re too focused on guessing who can be good in reaction to Trump. And I just think that’s, like, what paralyzes you.

(...)

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