Joe Scarborough praising President Trump? Was it one of those lip-synch spoofs? But no, in a sign of just how profoundly the coronavirus has altered virtually everything, Scarborough today did indeed offer clear, if cautious, praise for President Trump's performance at yesterday's press conference. Scarborough said that the president was somber and serious and "did what a president is supposed to do."
At end of the segment, Scarborough acknowledged the obvious: that over the last three-and-a-half years, the show has been critical of virtually everything President Trump has done. But Joe went on to recognize that "we only have one president at a time," and expressed the hope that yesterday marked a "new beginning."
Note: Scarborough had adopted a more measured tone about President Trump in his tweet of yesterday, and it obviously carried over onto today's show. We'll monitor how long Joe's change of heart lasts!
Here's the transcript.
6:02 am EDT
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Donald Trump held a press conference with his team around 3:00, 3:30, and --
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Boy, did everything change.
SCARBOROUGH: It was a remarkable change. As far as the focus of the federal government, the focus of the coronavirus task force, and most specifically, the focus of Donald Trump.
. . .
PRESIDENT TRUMP: I’ve spoken actually with my son. He says, how bad is this? It’s bad. It’s bad.
. . .
SCARBOROUGH: While this press conference was going on, I got phone calls from several people, saying who is that man at the press conference? The president was sober. He actually did what a president is supposed to do. He delivered the bad news . . . This was a president even talking about, saying to his son, when asked how it was, he said, it's bad, it’s bad. But hopefully, we can avoid the worst-case scenarios and bring this in for a landing and have the best-case scenarios. The president is doing what, at least I have said, and I think a lot of other people have said he should be doing from the very beginning, and that is, tell the truth. Give Americans the worst-case scenario. They can handle it. And start from there.
. . .
If you’ve watched the for more than ten minutes over the last three-and-a-half years, you understand we’re critical about just everything the president does. But Mika, as Jon Meacham said, I'm going to pull out Jon’s World War II analogy, and us being a position a Brit was. We are all joined together as a country, fighting an epidemic that could end up — let me say this again. Based on the study that got to the White House yesterday — kill more people, kill more Americans, than died in World War I, World War II, the Civil War, and Vietnam.
We all have to work together. I am hopeful that the White House and that the president continues this somber approach. Because, you know, at the beginning of this administration, when we had a lot of leaders, like, well, your father, Robert Gates, others, all said, we only have one president at a time. We have to do everything we can do to make sure this president succeeds. Well, obviously, this president has made that very difficult over the past three years. I’m hopeful that yesterday was a new beginning, especially as it pertains to this battle that we’re all facing.