The voting results from the latest "Super Tuesday" are in and Morning Joe wasted little time diving in and analyzing the results on Wednesday morning. Their conclusion? Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio needs to drop out right now, before the winner-take-all Sunshine State primary, and beg Donald Trump to be his vice presidential running mate.
Co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were of one mind when they squared off with NBC's Chuck Todd on how Rubio’s campaign should proceed. “Make a play for Vice President.” The pair said in unison when the Meet the Press host questioned why Rubio would drop out just 6 days before the Florida primary.
“I would rather go down fighting. I think it's worse to quit. I think you go down fighting. It's worse to quit.” Todd said of his view of how Rubio should go into Florida. He backed his argument by pointing to a Monmouth University poll of early voters that showed Rubio leading Trump by 20 percent. Scarborough played down that poll stating: “The Monmouth numbers are suspect at best … That was based by a sample size of 72 … They also have him tied in north Florida with, with, with, with Donald Trump.”
Scarborough, who once served in Congress, also argued that since he’s from north Florida he knows that that region is just not supporting Rubio.
The pair could not let their Rubio for VP fervor rest. During a phone interview with Donald Trump, a little later in the morning, the two hit Trump with question after question about if he would consider Rubio to be his running mate. They didn’t ask Trump once or twice, but six times:
Would you ever consider him as your running mate?
Could you forgive him for hitting you and make him Vice President?
Would you consider him, though, as a Vice President?
If he decided to drop out. Could you—
Could Marco Rubio as your Vice President be a bridge to that Republican establishment?
But I'm asking you though, if he drops out before losing Florida would you consider him, could he possibly be on the list as a vice president of yours because he could help outreach to Hispanics and help your outreach to the establish?
Trump deflected the questions saying that it was not the time for that conversation and it was not appropriate since Rubio has not dropped out yet. Although, Trump did walk back some of his comments about Rubio. “It’s not appropriate to talk about it until he makes a decision. I have respect for him, he's got great talent and I just don't want to say that yet. It’s too soon.”
Scarborough and Brzezinski’s gleeful future for Rubio is an interesting turn since they both have repeatedly mocked Rubio, calling him a robot or saying “he can’t pick up the hammer” (a reference to this General Electric commercial). The duo’s insistence on knowing Trump’s lists of possible running mates is also interesting, because Scarborough himself said Trump’s comments on David Duke and the KKK were “disqualifying” to his candidacy. Although, Trump is a good friend of the show and the co-hosts.
Partial transcripts below:
March 9, 2016
6:33:09 – 6:34:17 AM Eastern
SCARBOROUGH: The Monmouth—The Monmouth numbers are suspect at best. They claim that he beat Trump by 20 percentage points in early votes.
TODD: It’s probably not that big.
SCARBOROUGH: That was based by a sample size of 72. They also have him tied-- [ Laughter ] No, I'm serious. They also have him tied in north Florida with, with, with, with Donald Trump. That’s-- I'm from north Florida, that's just not the case. I think Ted Cruz has a much better chance of tearing through north Florida than Rubio does but it seems to me that -- I don’t know, they don’t have lot of good choices.
TODD: I would rather go down fighting. I think it's worse to quit. I think you go down fighting. It's worse to quit.
BRZEZINSKI: I—Oh my gosh, Chuck. Not in this game, because when you go down in this game it’s very ugly and you’re left with permanent markings by Donald Trump.
SCARBOROUGH: Marco, Marco Rubio, John Heilemann—
TODD: Quitting a week out?!
BRZEZINSKI: How about this? How about Chucky calls Trump and he says—Because Marco Rubio is a man in a hurry. He’s not going to want to run for Senate. He’s just not. He’s done, he’s bored already. We’ve seen that. He wants to—He’s going to want to be in the big game. He’s gunna—I don’t know if Trump will do it, but he will make a play for Vice President.
SCARBOROUGH: Make a play for Vice President.
7:24:11 – 7:26:07 AM Eastern
BRZEZINSKI: We've been talking about Marco Rubio. You had a great night last night. Marco Rubio not so much and he has some decisions to make. Would you ever consider him as your running mate?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I don't want to say that now, Mika. He has a big decision to make and he should make his own decision. And, I always liked him and then he hit me really very, very hard and now it didn’t work for him.
SCARBOROUGH: Could you forgive him for hitting you and make him Vice President?
TRUMP: But I will tell you, I got along with him great until a few weeks ago when he started playing Don Rickles. And you know, it was, it was very surprising to see. And he was out of character.
SCARBOROUGH: Would you consider him, though, as a Vice President?
TRUMP: I became very nasty about it and I guess he's really got a decision to make. I know what you're talking about. I just don't want to be involved in his decision, his decision is a personal one.
SCARBOROUGH: If he decided to drop out. Could you—
BRZEZINSKI: If he called you and said "I want to give you Florida."
SCARBOROUGH: Since you need Hispanic voters. Since you need help with the Republican establishment. Could Marco Rubio as your Vice President be a bridge to that Republican establishment?
SCARBOROUGH: But I'm asking you though, if he drops out before losing Florida would you consider him, could he possibly be on the list as a vice president of yours because he could help outreach to Hispanics and help your outreach to the establish?
TRUMP: Sure, sure and he's got a lot of talent. I just don't want to say that yet, Joe, it's too—it’s not appropriate to talk about it until he makes a decision. I have respect for him, he's got great talent and I just don't want to say that yet. It’s too soon.
SCARBOROUGH: Well you said sure, we'll take that as a yes.