Scarborough Slams ‘Weirdos and Freaks’ Against McCarthy, But He Opposed Newt In ’98!

News & Politics

When it came to discussing the House speakership quandary, Joe Scarborough suffered from something of a split personality on today’s Morning Joe.

On the one hand, Scarborough supported Newt Gingrich’s take that the “Never Kevin” Republicans refusing to support McCarthy are risking the “meltdown” of the GOP. It’s Kevin or chaos! On the other hand, Scarborough noted that in 1998, he was one of five Republican House members who drove Newt out of the speakership. Scarborough admitted he had been part of the problem: 

It’s not like the Republican party is coming off of a strong win. They underperformed badly. They’re on their back heels. They’re viewed as radicals, insurrectionists, weirdos and freaks. 

. . . 

Charlie, this job has been unmanageable for Republicans since people like me were in Washington. Probably because of people like me in Washington . . . And now you have McCarthy trying to get this job, and again, I mean, trying to get it at a low point for Republicans, where every swing voter, most swing voters think they’re insurrectionists, weirdos and freaks. And these five, six, seven Republicans are doing their damnest to prove that what they’re saying about them is true.

All this talk about weirdos and freaks could have triggered someone to ask: So were you a “freak and weirdo” back then, Joe?

Back in 1997, Scarborough was front and center in a Time magazine piece, presented as a “sniper” of Gingrich: “G.O.P. snipers have taken aim at the speaker, but no one has figured out how to govern with a big agenda and a tiny majority.” Liberal Democrat journalists adore internal GOP squabbling.

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There was no such split opinion from Charlie Sykes.  The Never Trumper and MSNBC columnist couldn’t keep himself from literally laughing at the Republicans’ predicament, calling the GOP an “amazing clown car.” And check the video at 1:40 to hear the malicious glee with which Sykes pronounces the names of George Santos and Marjorie Taylor Greene, as people upon whose votes McCarthy is forced to rely.

Apparently, there is not one embarrassing soul among the House Democrats, not a Swalwell or a Schiff, or an Ocasio-Cortez. They’re all precious to MSNBC.

On Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough blasting as “freaks” the Republican House members vowing to vote against Kevin McCarthy as speaker, while acknowledging he was part of a group in 1998 that pushed Newt Gingrich out of the speaker’s chair, was sponsored in part by GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Trelegy, Booking.com, and Xfinity.

Here’s the transcript.

MSNBC
Morning Joe
1/3/22
6:26 am ET

NEWT GINGRICH: I don’t understand what they’re doing. They’re not voting against Kevin McCarthy. They’re voting against over 215 members of their own conference . . . The choice is Kevin McCarthy or chaos. I think the Republican party right now is in the greatest danger of meltdown that it’s been since 1964. 

. . . 

JOE SCARBOROUGH: He knows of what he speaks because there were five, six of us back in 1998 that told Newt that we weren’t going to support him . . . But Newt has a really good point here. It’s not like the Republican party is coming off of a strong win. They underperformed badly. They’re on their back heels. They’re viewed as radicals, insurrectionists, weirdos and freaks. 

. . . 

Charlie, this job has been unmanageable for Republicans since people like me were in Washington. Probably because of people like me in Washington . . . And now you have McCarthy trying to get this job, and again, I mean, trying to get it at a low point for Republicans, where every swing voter, most swing voters think they’re insurrectionists, weirdos and freaks. And these five, six, seven Republicans are doing their damnest to prove that what they’re saying about them is true.

. . . 

CHARLIE SYKES: And when you have a party that’s turned itself over to a cult of personality, to bomb throwers, to grifters, we shouldn’t be surprised to see that we are going to have on display this amazing clown car. And by the way, all the focus is on, of course, these five holdouts here. But think about Kevin McCarthy, whose speakership now rests on the vote of people like George Santos and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: My God!

SYKES: The closer you look, the worse this gets [laughs] for the Republican party. On the day that should have been the big celebration of the red wave. So think about this alternative reality. Normally, when a political party takes power, this is a moment of celebration. People are feeling good. They’re celebrating. And [chuckles] you’re not going to be seeing that over the next 12 hours in Washington, D.C.

SCARBOROUGH: As I always, as I keep trying to remind my former Republican brothers and sisters, it didn’t have to be this way. They didn’t have to follow Donald Trump down the rabbit hole. They didn’t have to push Qanon conspiracy theories. They didn’t have to push election denying. They didn’t have to be the radical extremists that they were. They made the choice.

MIKA: And these are the consequences.

SCARBOROUGH: This is the consequence. You lose the Senate, and the House is a dumpster fire.
 

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