Joe Scarborough prefaced his remarks this morning by saying "this is the sort of thing that right-wing bloggers get very angry about." So let's oblige him . . .
On Morning Joe, Scarborough said "I am shocked by how many Republicans, that have always voted Republican, that have said they're going to vote for Hillary if it's Cruz or Trump running against Hillary. I'm talking Deep South, Southern Baptist. I asked people who I expect to say yes, Cruz, go "hell no. No. I will never vote for Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. I will vote for Hillary Clinton."
Although Scarborough included Trump in the mix, his focus was on Republicans who supposedly wouldn't vote for Cruz. Asked "why" by Willie Geist, Scarborough said "too harsh . . . and they think it's an act."
If Cruz's conservatism is an act, it's one he's sustained throughout his adult life. And in the current political climate, the notion that Republicans would reject their nominee because he's too "harsh"--voting instead for warm 'n fuzzy Hillary? Nah. My two cents say that if it turns out to be Cruz vs. Clinton, the percentage of lifelong Republican Southern Baptists voting for Hillary will be down in asterisk territory.
MIKE BARNICLE: I am mystified by the process on both sides, to tell you the truth. Especially the Republican side. And I'm -- the Cruz aspect of the campaign, we were talking about, Joe. I'm wondering, and maybe someone here can answer my question, does his support in the primaries, his growing support in the primaries, especially in Iowa, does it translate to the fall, to a general election?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: No. It does not. I am shocked, I'm shocked—and this is the sort of thing hat makes right-wing bloggers get very angry about—I'm just telling you, I said it about Romney, when I said Romney was going to lose. They got really, really angry with me. This is a different category. I am shocked by how many Republicans, that have always voted Republican, that have said they're going to vote for Hillary if it's Cruz, or, um, Trump running against Hillary. I'm talking Deep South, Southern Baptist. I asked people who I expect to say yes, Cruz, go "hell no. Hell no! No. I will never vote for Ted Cruz or Donald Trump. I will vote for Hillary Clinton before those two." Shocked: lifetime Republicans saying that.
WILLIE GEIST: Why not Cruz? He checks so many boxes.
JOE: Just too harsh. I've heard two things: I've heard that he's too harsh, first of all. And secondly--and I hear this from a lot of Republicans that don't follow politics every day--they think it's an act. They think it's staged.
. . .
JOE: Joey [his son] called and asked who are you going to support, and they say "we will vote for Hillary Clinton. We will vote for the first Democrat in our life before we vote for Ted Cruz or Donald Trump." Don't shoot the messenger! I hear it anecdotally. I've been saying like this on this show for years, and 99% of the time it turns out to be right.