Joe Scarborough mocked Ted Cruz's claim that he defied the media by winning Wisconsin -- which most media observers predicted he would do -- and insisted the Texas senator would never win the Republican presidential nomination.
"Listen, let's just be clear here," Scarborough said. "Ted Cruz will never be the nominee of the Republican Party."
He and other panelists on Wednesday's "Morning Joe" agreed that establishment Republicans had made a mistake by backing Cruz as an alternative to stop Donald Trump, because they said the conservative senator would assuredly lose November's election to Hillary Clinton.
Scarborough insisted that Cruz was not the second-most likely nominee behind Trump, and said the GOP was far more likely to select a nominee who's not even running at this point.
"No, not even close," he said. "Paul Ryan -- you name the list. The guy is loathed, and he is loathed inside (Washington,) D.C., in a way that Donald Trump is not loathed. I know a lot of the establishment hates Donald Trump, but Ted Cruz is the devil that they know, and they don't like him. He's not going to win the nomination."
Scarborough said the GOP establishment was simply using Cruz as a "vehicle to stop Donald Trump."
"It's going to be Trump or somebody else," he said. "I don't know -- maybe Ted Cruz is the most wonderful human being in the world when he's in the backyard throwing baseballs with, you know, his next-door neighbors and barbecuing, I'm sure he is. He is not, though, on TV, a likable persona, and he is loathed in Washington. He is not going to do it. It's going to be Trump or somebody else."
He agreed that the GOP establishment, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, had made a cynical gamble on Cruz in hopes of setting up a contested convention so they could select someone besides Trump as the nominee.
Scarborough said voters had actually sent a statement in Wisconsin, which he said pundits always say but voters never actually do.
"It never happens, it's bull," he said. "People go in and they vote usually their heart, very rarely their head. Wisconsin did something last night I've never seen before: You had suburban people who loathed Ted Cruz -- disconnected from him ideologically, disconnected from him socially, disconnected from him temperamentally -- they went in, it's extraordinary. They made the calculation -- we're not going to vote for John Kasich, who we're probably closer to temperamentally, but we're going to vote for the guy who's most likely to stop Donald Trump. It never happens -- it happened last night in Wisconsin."
Watch the entire segment posted online by MSNBC: