If Joe Scarborough were ever, as some have claimed, in the the tank for Donald Trump, he has officially climbed out as of this morning. On today's Morning Joe, reacting to the clip of Jake Tapper's interview, Scarborough called Trump's refusal to forthrightly reject the support of Klansman David Duke "disqualifying."
A bit later, Joe and Mika Brzezinski said that if Trump fails today to clean up the situation, Chris Christie "cannot stay with Donald Trump's campaign."
On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough forcefully sought to refute the notion that Chris Christie's takedown of Marco Rubio in the last GOP debate was an unprovoked attack. Scarborough painted a very different picture, one in which by dint of his town hall work, Christie had been steadily climbing in the New Hampshire polls--until Rubio unleashed a wave of negative advertising on Christie that drove his numbers back down. It was only then that Christie counter-attacked, suggested Joe.
Scarborough said pundits were either "ignorant" or "lying" to their readers if they portrayed Christie as "mean" for having exposed Rubio as he did, or that Christie's poor performance in New Hampshire was the result of a backlash against his attack. Noteworthy was Scarborough's statement that the funding for Rubio's attack ads against Christie was "dark" money. At one point, Scarborough called it "dirty" money, before correcting himself and repeating "dark" money.
As Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz -- who has endorsed Marco Rubio for President -- appeared as a guest on Monday's The Situation Room on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer repeatedly questioned Rubio's fitness for office, with seven out of his first nine questions and setup statements challenging the Florida Senator on issues ranging from his repetition of lines during Saturday's debate, to his level of experience and number of missed votes in the Senate. Blitzer suggested that the Florida Republican's debate performance "could be a Rick Perry 'oops' moment."
A testy Chris Christie reminded George Stephanopoulos of his political “operative” past on Monday, hitting the Good Morning America co-host for bringing up the New Jersey governor’s low poll ratings. The former aide to Bill Clinton quizzed, “You have invested so much time and money in New Hampshire, though...still in sixth place, if you can't win there, where can you win?”
With all due respect, indeed! On the Bloomberg TV show of that name that he co-hosts with Mark Halperin, John Heilemann today reported that the current and former governors in the GOP field--Bush, Kasich and Christie--think Marco Rubio is a "punk."
Clarified Heilemann: "when I say 'punk,' they have the same view that Hillary Clinton had of Barack Obama [in 2008]: line-cutter, punk, man of no accomplishment." It's hard to imagine the dignifed Jeb calling Rubio a punk, but in his interiew on CBS today, Jeb did flatly assert that Rubio had accomplished "nothing" in the Senate. Readers will also remember that yesterday, Joe Scarborough grilled Rubio-endorser Rick Santorum, who struggled to name a Rubio accomplishement in the Senate.
On MSNBC on Tuesday, New Jersey Democratic Senator Cory Booker admonished host Andrea Mitchell for trying to use the weekend blizzard to attack Republican Governor Chris Christie. After Mitchell wondered if Christie had “risked” his presidential campaign “by his response to flooding from the winter storms back home,” Booker pushed back: “Literally some families on this – in this community lost everything. It’s not a time for politics.”
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, host Andrea Mitchell teed up correspondent Rehema Ellis to blast New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over the blizzard clean-up effort in the state: “Tell us about the clean-up, because Rehema, we've already seen that Chris Christie, the governor, flew out early yesterday saying all was fine there. How is it in New Jersey?”
NPR brought on two women to replace David Brooks and E.J. Dionne for their “Week in Politics” segment on Friday’s All Things Considered. As usual, NPR’s idea of “balance” is two experts who think Ted Cruz is a far-right disaster.
Former MSNBC host Joy Reid drew quite the softball from openly gay NPR anchor Ari Shapiro, who cited “some observers” who said that Chris Christie and Ted Cruz offered nasty criticisms of President Obama at the latest GOP debate that they wouldn’t make about a “white president.” One problem? Shapiro mistakenly put a Christie statement in Cruz's mouth.
On today's Melissa Harris-Perry show, the perpetually outraged Nina Turner of Ohio ripped Ted Cruz and Chris Christie for their language during this past week's debate: "to call the president a boy, those of us who understand African-American history—cause that's exactly what they called him was a boy—and you don't do that to anybody, and especially to an African-American man."
Republican candidates calling President Obama a "boy?" Offensive! Just one paltry problem for Ms. Turner. They didn't. As can be seen in the debate clip that rolled, Ted Cruz said that "China is running over President Obama like he is a child." And Chris Christie called the president a "petulant child." Either Turner wasn't listening, or was making the unsubstantiated claim that referring to Obama as a child is "exactly" calling him a "boy." Crying racism everywhere is like crying wolf. It diminishes the impact when it really does occur.
Let's you and him fight! That was John Heilemann on today's With All Due Respect, trying to lure Chris Christie into a fight with Republican voters. Heilemann's first foray was to invite Christie to "name an issue where you are out of step with the conservative base of the Republican party." When Christie wouldn't bite, Heilemann tried again, asking Christie to name "an issue where you feel like the conservative base is wrong."
Christie called out Heilemann's ploy, saying "you're kind of looking for some Sistah Souljah moment" which Christie described as "manufactured and political." Even those who are not Christie fans might applaud him for refusing to fall into Heilemann's trap.
The early Wednesday morning edition of ABC’s Nightline provided the first look at the network reaction to Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate and featured correspondent David Wright ripping it as a “bloody” affair with help from liberal comedians and scolding Chris Christie for remarks about Los Angeles mothers placing their children on school buses only to have classes canceled due to a terror threat.
On Monday's Erin Burnett OutFront, CNN National Correspondent Jason Carroll delivered a heavily one-sided report highlighting charges by the Council on American-Islamic Relations that GOP presidential candidates -- specifically naming Ben Carson, Chris Christie and Donald Trump -- have been partly to blame for inspiring a recent spate of attacks against Muslims in the U.S.