After years of racist statements, Donald Trump is finally starting to turn off some Republicans, including Joe Scarborough. On Wednesday’s “Morning Joe,” the co-host demanded that presumptive GOP nominee prove that he’s not a bigot.
“Donald, guess what, I’m not going to support you until you get your act together,” Scarborough said, despite supporting Trump previously. “You’re acting like bush-league loser, you’re acting like a racist, you’re acting like a bigot. This is called art of the deal. I’m taking my deal off the table. Until you come to the table and get on the other side of the table and prove to me you’re not a bigot and you don’t take my party down in the ditch, you don’t have my endorsement.”
Scarborough claimed that Trump “can’t use Hillary Clinton as a gun against my head” just to get Trump support.
“I’m taking the gun away from my head,” he said. “I’m putting it on the table and now it is in your hands on whether you are going to prove to the Republican Party and me personally that you’re not a bigot. So, don’t use Hillary Clinton as a threat against me. Don’t use Hillary Clinton as an excuse, as your blank check to say racist things about people born in Indiana. No, Donald, you don’t get to play it that way. I’m not scared of you and I’m not scared of the base because they are just as pissed off as me. Walk away. It’s called the art of the deal. It’s what Donald Trump has been preaching all his life. They are — I can’t say the word they are. … They’re weak.”
Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi wrote a scathing indictment of Scarborough in February for playing the role of “Trump’s lapdog” on MSNBC.
“Nobody who’s covered the Trump run could fail to notice the increasingly hot-and-sweaty ménage a trois between the candidate and Mika and Joe,” Taibbi wrote. “Even their on-air performance at the town hall last Wednesday was such a craven display of bumlicking and softballing that media critics all over the country denounced them for it.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced Trump’s statement about the judge this week but fell short of pulling his endorsement. Brzezinski told panelist Willie Geist this makes it impossible for Ryan to use Clinton as a punching bag.
“Paul Ryan, you can’t use Hillary Clinton, either, in your pathetic, weak kind of meandering around this problem, because Willie Geist, you know what we have here with these Republican leaders who are like, ‘can’t have Hillary Clinton.’ Really? You hate her that much you’ll take a racist,” she said. “You hate her that much we’re going to have eight more years of the Republicans we had who said from the get-go with Obama, we just want him to fail. You’re going to have more of the same. You are more of the same.”
“It’s the worst of all worlds, Willie, because if they embrace the racist to beat Hillary, they lose to Hillary and destroy the party,” Scarborough said. “Listen to me guys, you embrace a guy making racist comments.”
Brzezinski interrupted asking why people like Scarborough must explain it to the GOP. “Because they’re stupid,” Scarborough said. “You lose the presidency, right? And then you lose the Senate and you lose the House and then we small-government conservatives, we’re screwed because you’ve destroyed our party because you’re running scared.”
“Stop running scared. You’ve got to stand up to Donald Trump and say, prove to us that you deserve our support. When you do that, then maybe we’ll consider giving you our endorsement back,” Scarborough said. “But right now, Willie, they are running scared and Donald smells it so he can say whatever the hell he wants to say.”
So, Scarborough’s support of Trump seems to have been shelved, creating a kind of kabuki theater of morning show drama.
Check out the video below (at about the 3:30 mark)