Whatever Nicolle Wallace had for breakfast this morning, Jeb should down a double order . . . On today's Morning Joe, former Bush communications chief Wallace slammed a Politico story in which former McCain staffers rejected parallels between Jeb's campaign and that of McCain, who came back from the political wilderness to win the nomination in 2008.
Calling the story a "cheap shot," "low blow" and "irrelevant clackery of the clacking class," Wallace repeatedly pointed out that the sources for the story were McCain staffers now working for other candidates in the current GOP race. Such folks would obviously have a vested interest in scotching the notion of a Jeb comeback.
Wallace clashed with Politico's Mike Allen during the segment. At its end, Allen snidely said that "Nicolle was first to declare Bush the comeback kid." Shot back Wallace "I'll take it: people have said much worse things about me in your paper." Said Joe Scarborough: "oh my gosh, it seems like a nerve has been struck!"
"Irrelevant clackery of the clacking class." Nice! Shades of Spiro and those nattering nabobs of negativism!
WILLIE GEIST: Let's go to Washington, the chief White House correspondent for Politico, Mr. Mike Allen. Mike, you've got some new reporting about former McCain campaign staffers who don't appreciate comparisons to Jeb Bush's campaign.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: [laughing] What are they saying? We didn't suck that bad. What?
WILLIE: Nicole, no offense. Mike, what do you got?
MIKE ALLEN: We can let Nicolle rebut, but as we've seen here on this show the sharks are circling for Jeb --
NICOLLE WALLACE: -- the sharks? [shakes head incredulously]
ALLEN: We think has by far the most at stake tonight than anyone [in the debate]. Can he throw a punch, can he get back on the horse. Out on the trail, he's been saying: wait a minute with these tough stories. Look at John McCain back in 2008. Everybody said his campaign was over. He was broke and he said I'm going to live off the land. He came back to win New Hampshire, to win Florida, to be the nominee. Now the problem with that, Politico talked to a bunch of former McCain aides who said those parallels only go so far.
WALLACE: Mike . . .
ALLEN: -- McCain was already well known and popular in New Hampshire --
WALLACE: Did some of these campaign aides happen to work for Marco Rubio? The one that said it's bull-blah-blah?
ALLEN: Uh, that --
WALLACE: You don't have to reveal your sources, but did another one happen to work for -- I mean, can I just tell you where this story came from? I talked to the Bush campaign last night. I said how does Donald Trump say that John McCain was a cruddy POW and not get in any trouble? You say we see some parallels between having a campaign on the ropes and you're busted in Politico. How does that happen to you? And what they said was this is a moment between two men. John McCain and Jeb Bush ran into each other a bustling airport and talked about the commonality of being down and out. Jeb Bush has never claimed that his campaign is running the exact trajectory of McCain's campaign, and I think this story is a cheap shot.
. . .
WALLACE: I've only heard Jeb make the comparison in the effort to say it's not over until it's over. So the notion that all these other guys, Mike, and I know and like a lot of them on other campaigns, throwing out a cheap shot and then putting it in Politico, I think it's a low blow and I think it's part of the irrelevant sort of clackery of the clacking class. And the truth is, no one's voted yet, and we'll see.
JOE: Okay, we've gotta go, but we want Mike Allen to get the last word here, cause we love Mike.
ALLEN: Nicolle has predicted the first Jeb Bush as the comeback kid. Nicole was first.
WALLACE: I'll take it. People have said much worse things about me in your paper. So I'll take it.
JOE: Oh my gosh, it seems like a nerve has been struck!