Barry Goldwater was a conservative hero and pioneer. But his presidential run was an historic flop. So when Joe Scarborough described Ted Cruz on today's Morning Joe as "Barry Goldwater's ugly stepson," it was a scalding simile. Scarborough in turn scolded the Republican establishment for backing Cruz over John Kasich as the alternative to Donald Trump.
Scarborough's argument focused on electability. Scarborough predicted that in a general election against Hillary, Cruz would lose 40-41 states [actually a bit better than the 44 Goldwater lost]. The screencap shows Scarborough holding up a Boston Red Sox coffee cup while claiming the cup has a better chance of beating Hillary in swing states than Cruz. In contrast, Scarborough says Kasich would "blow her out."
JOE SCARBOROUGH: We kind of wonder why they didn't throw their lot in for John Kasich, a guy who was budget chairman --
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Hello!
JOE: A guy who is two-term, two-term governor from Ohio, and you're throwing your lot in with Ted Cruz, who they don't agree with --
NICOLLE WALLACE: -- on any significant policy pillar.
JOE: Who they loathe!
MIKA: If you're going to try to control the outcome and make that move and go there, make the right choice!
JOE: And their head-to-head match-ups out today, that show John Kasich light years ahead of Hillary Clinton and the only Republican that easily beats Hillary Clinton. So you're trading in Donald Trump for a guy that does as badly in the general election match-up as Trump?
MIKA: And mark my words, knowing Trump --
JOE: Kasich would blow her out.
. . .
JOE: This isn't about Kasich versus. Trump. This is about Kasich versus Cruz. Why has the establishment chosen the guy that is Barry Goldwater's ugly stepson?
MIKA: If you're going to rig the game, make the right choice.
JOE: Politically, this guy is going to win nine, ten states if he gets in a general election. I have a lot of friends that are really embarrassing themselves right now by telling me that he can win the general election against Hillary Clinton. This beautiful Boston Red Sox cup has a far better chance of picking up swing states --
MIKA: I love the Red Sox!
JOE: -- than does Ted Cruz. Sip to victory: go ahead, Gene.