Conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough took the “both sides do it” argument to the limit on Thursday when he declared that Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman was “as extreme” as National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre.
During his Morning Joe broadcast, Scarborough blasted LaPierre’s recent “Stand and Fight” op-ed responding to President Barack Obama’s call for gun control during the State of the Union address for being “laced with racial overtones.”
“After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia,” LaPierre wrote. “Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn.”
“Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Riots. Terrorists. Gangs. Lone criminals. These are perils we are sure to face—not just maybe. It’s not paranoia to buy a gun. It’s survival. It’s responsible behavior, and it’s time we encourage law-abiding Americans to do just that,” he continued. “We, the American people, clearly see the daunting forces we will undoubtedly face: terrorists, crime, drug gangs, the possibility of Euro-style debt riots, civil unrest or natural disaster.”
Scarborough, however, argued that LaPierre had essentially undercut “everything Republicans are now trying to do to make up for their 27 percent in the election with Hispanics.”
“A racially tinged, very suggestive op-ed by Wayne LaPierre, who Republicans are blindly following around,” the MSNBC host added. “The extremism of Wayne LaPiere is so frightening.”
At some point during the course of the show, Scarborough decided to provoke Twitter by comparing LaPierre to Krugman.
“Wayne LaPierre’s views on guns is as extreme as Paul Krugman’s views on debt.” Discuss.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 14, 2013
“Wayne LaPierre’s views on guns is as extreme as Paul Krugman’s views on debt,” he tweeted. “Discuss.”
And as Morning Joe ended on Thursday, Scarborough took another shot at Krugman during the closing “What Have We Learned” segment.
“I learned that Wayne LaPierre is extreme on guns and Paul Krugman is extreme on debt,” he said. “They sort of occupy their own alternative universes. And the question is whether Republicans are going to have the guts to stand up to LaPiere and whether Democrats are going to be smart enough to walk away from Krugman.”
“There you go,” co-host Mika Brzezinski agreed.
Last month, Krugman had come on Morning Joe to give Scarborough a lesson about why austerity measures were the wrong solution during difficult economic times.
“People like me have been saying for five years, don’t worry about these deficit things for the time being, they’re a non-issue,” Krugman explained. “Other people have been saying, ‘Imminent crisis, imminent crisis!’ How many times do they have to be wrong and do people like me have to be right before people start to believe this?”
Watch this video from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, broadcast Feb. 14, 2013.
(h/t: Talking Points Memo)