Joe Scarborough sees himself as a counselor to Democrat presidential candidates. Last week, we noted Joe offering Dems advice on registering voters and getting them to the polls. This morning, Joe urged Dem debaters to take virtually all their allotted time to attack President Trump rather than criticize each other.
And there's one Democrat idea that clearly has Joe very worried about the potential harm it could do to the eventual Dem candidate: Beto O'Rourke's proposal of a mandatory "assault weapon" buyback, aka, gun confiscation.
On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough scalded the proposal as "a stupendously bad idea," calling it "radical" and likely to be found "unconstitutional." Joe fretted that O'Rourke's gun-confiscation proposal, along with his support for stripping tax-exempt status from religious groups that don't support same-sex marriage, would be "be repeated around the clock between now and next November by whoever is the Republican nominee."
And so it was that when Joe interviewed O'Rourke a bit later, he pressed him on the confiscation proposal, eventually forcing Beto to admit: “In that case I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back, so that it cannot be potentially used against somebody else.”
Note: if Beto's getting a big thumbs down from Scarborough, "Mayor Pete" is on the ups with Joe, who said this morning, "I wouldn't be surprised to see Mayor Pete win Iowa."
Here's the transcript. Click "expand" to read more.
6:18 am EDT
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I want to go back to what Mayor Pete said about Beto’s confiscation plans. It is a radical plan, I think the Supreme Court would consider it unconstitutional. Nobody, and I mean nobody, other than Beto wants doors kicked down.
Reverend Al told me, he said, man, if there was a gun confiscation plan, and people were kicking down doors, he said I wouldn’t be able to make all my calls on civil rights because I would have a lot of black Americans calling me up, yelling, saying I was being targeted.
It is, though I do not doubt Beto’s good intentions, it is a stupendously bad idea, and you take that idea and his idea to tax churches if they actually preach the Gospel and preach the Bible inside churches about same-sex marriage. If they have the freedom to preach the way they want to preach inside their churches, whether it’s churches, synagogues or mosques. I mean, do we really want to start taxing mosques? Do we really want to start taxing synagogues? And the Democrats seem united on this, except Beto. But make no mistake, Willie, confiscation of guns, the taxing of churches, the taking away of private health insurance from 165 [million] Americans is going to be repeated around the clock between now and next November by whomever is the Republican nominee.
. . .
SCARBOROUGH: So congressman, so let me ask you, let's say I have an AR-15, I bought it legally five years ago, I’m a law-abiding citizen. You want to buy it back as President of the United States. I say no, you give me other incentives, I say no, I bought this legally. I’m keeping this. I live on a ranch, I need it for protection. What would you do then?
BETO O'ROURKE: First of all, I wouldn’t concede the point on following the law. I don’t know you well, Joe, but I know you well enough to expect you to follow the law, even if it’s a law that you disagree with. I think it’s one of the things that distinguishes us as a country, we’re a country of laws.
SCARBOROUGH: Okay, but let’s just assume that there’s a rancher in Texas that doesn’t, that says I’m not going to do this because this is an unjust law and it’s unconstitutional. What’s the next step? I think that’s what we need to concede, because there will be people that don’t turn the guns back in. What’s the next step?
O'ROURKE: Yeah, I think just as in any law that is not followed, or flagrantly abused, there have to be consequences or else there is no respect for the law. So you know, in that case I think there would be a visit by law enforcement to recover that firearm and to make sure that it is purchased, bought back, so that it cannot be potentially used against somebody else.