Joe Scarborough put on his volunteer Democrat political campaign-consultant cap this morning, and literally screamed at whichever White House aides are advising Joe Biden not to attack Donald Trump.
What triggered Joe? Let's guess it's this Politico article from his colleague Jonathan Lemire (and others) on advertising strategy:
Biden’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee spent roughly $7 million on positive TV ads this year, according to the ad tracking firm AdImpact, along with less than $100,000 on contrast ads that name Trump. Those numbers did not capture all ads, including digital and Spanish-language ones that attack Trump or Republicans in general. But the larger trend was indisputable.
Scarborough analogized the situation to the ill-fated 1988 campaign of Michael Dukakis, in which he chose not to respond to George H. W. Bush's attacks on his patriotism. Who's being wimpy??
"Whoever inside the White House is telling Joe Biden not to attack Donald Trump, stop it! Seriously, stop it, all right?!" Maybe start a lawn service with push lawnmowers. You don't know what you're doing. You don't know what you're talking about, and you're costing the President. You really are. You're costing him points."
Scarborough's loudest scream was an ear-piercing "no!!" at the notion, as seen in the screencap, of the Biden campaign fighting by gentlemanly Marquess of Queensbury rules. To the contrary, Scarborough demanded that there should be "no holds barred" in the effort to defeat Trump. Joe Scarborough, urging Democrats to fight dirty!
Somehow, Scarborough can't imagine that Biden strategists might think they have almost the entire national media to eviscerate Trump on a daily basis for free, so they should spend their money on the puffy stuff about the president's "accomplishments."
Between the New York Times poll showing Biden losing to Trump in five out of six battleground states, which had Jon Meacham urging Americans to vote for Biden out of "empathy," and now White House aides telling Biden not to attack Trump, it's been a rough couple of days for poor Scarborough.
Scarborough claimed that if Democrats do well in today's elections in Virginia and Kentucky, and in a referendum on abortion in Ohio, it will "completely wipe away" that devastating NYT poll on battleground states. Keep hope alive, Joe!
Note: Scarborough's mention of push lawnmowers was a reference to Dukakis, during the 1988 campaign, having put out a photo of himself mowing his lawn, presumably in an effort to show that he was a relatable, regular, frugal guy.
Here's the transcript.
6:12 am ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The Biden White House is actually debating whether Joe Biden should attack Donald Trump or not.
This reminds me of 1988. And Michael Dukakis saying, I'm not going to answer those, those Bush attacks saying I'm unpatriotic, while he's going to flag factories all over the country. And Dukakis just, he kept mowing his lawn with his push lawnmower: I'm not going, you know, I'm not going to answer those, those attacks.
You gotta answer those attacks.
And like, whoever inside the White House is telling Joe Biden not to attack Donald Trump, stop it! Seriously, stop it, all right?! And maybe start a lawn service with push lawnmowers. Because you don't know what you're doing. You don't know what you're talking about, and you're costing the president! You really are. You're costing him points.
This is a political battle to the end. Donald Trump is trying to destroy Joe Biden. I'm not exactly sure, Willie, who inside the White House is saying, "Hey, when you go up against the champ, Mike Tyson in'91, Muhammad Ali in, like, '73, you should fight by Marquess of Queensberry rules."
No!! You've got to go after him. No holds barred. And yet, Willie, they're still trying to debate: do we play nice in this campaign, or do we actually take it to a guy that stole nuclear secrets, has been accused of being a rapist by a New York judge, and has 91 felony counts against him charged.
It's not hard. I don't think this is hard. And I'm not sure who inside the White House is making this hard.