MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said Republicans were costing themselves a shot at retaking the U.S. Senate by nominating poor-quality candidates.
The "Morning Joe" host blamed Donald Trump for costing his party the Senate majority with his 2020 election conspiracy theories, and he might thwart Mitch McConnell's ambitions again by backing a string of underqualified loyalists in GOP primaries.
"Boy, it's remarkable, what Donald Trump has done to the state of Georgia," Scarborough said. "He, of course, lost it in 2020, he started a scandal down there now with his stupid calls to the secretary of state. He got obliterated, his candidates, a couple months ago. Of course, he turned the Senate over away from Mitch McConnell over to Chuck Schumer by destroying the Republicans' chances in December of 2020 with the two special elections, and it continues now with Herschel Walker."
But the blame doesn't belong entirely to the twice-impeached former president, Scarborough said.
"I want to underline this fact," he said. "Republicans had a choice. In every one of these states that we're talking about, they had a choice to pick an arch conservative, somebody who said they supported Donald Trump, to pick a pro-life candidate, to pick a pro-Second Amendment candidate, to pick a pro-free market candidate, pick a capitalist, in all these places. You had Dave McCormick in Pennsylvania, but they picked a freak in Dr. [Mehmet] Oz. You had Matt Dolan in Ohio, they picked this hypocrite, J.D. Vance, who is acting like a freak, talking about stolen elections in Ohio. So republicans had an opportunity. This is not about us going, 'Oh, they can never win because they're pro-life or -- no, no, those are the candidates that win in Georgia. Those are the candidates that win in North Carolina. Those are the candidates that win in Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin, but they didn't pick the rational, reasonable candidates."
"They picked insurrectionists, wackos, freaks and conspiracy theorists," Scarborough added. "Let's be very clear here, from one former Republican to a current Republican. We're not talking about their mainstream policy positions that are hurting them, we're talking about the fact that these people are weirdos."
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