As NB's Mark Finkelstein reported earlier, Time's Mark Halperin and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough expressed their bewilderment on Thursday's "Morning Joe" that President Obama would invite Rep. Paul Ryan to the unveiling of the president's budget, sit him in the front row, and then essential call him un-American on national television.
Co-host Mika Brzezinski, on the other hand, far from being displeased by the move, touted it as evidence of the president's political courage. Obama isn't cowardly like congressional Republicans, she intimated, since he will call you un-American to your face.
"I don't think it was insulting" for the president to slime Ryan as he did, Mika claimed. "He was tough and clear." Check out the video below the break.
Okay, I don't get it because I think the Republicans have said some really critical things about the president on camera without him there, and that seems, actually, cowardly. Having Having him in the room, looking him straight in the eye, talking to him before, that to me seems like, 'we have differences, and I'm going to tell you exactly where I stand [unintelligible].
Scarborough, for his part, couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Are you serious?" he repeatedly asked as Brzezinski was talking. Only "a left wing ideologue who is detached from reality," he added, would put down Ryan's budget plan as somehow unserious.
As a bonus, head over to the Right Scoop for audio of Ryan on Mark Levin's radio show Wednesday expressing his bewilderment at being blindsided by the president's attacks.