“Sudden Respect” is our NewsBusters rubric for instances of the liberal media saying something positive about a conservative who agrees with a policy favored by the media elites. You might say that today’s Morning Joe was Sudden Respect with a bullet—millions of bullets, in fact, in terms of US military aid for Ukraine.
With Mika Brzezinski leading the charge, the show heaped praise on Kevin McCarthy for his strong statement to a Russian reporter during his visit to Israel bashing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and in support of aid to Ukraine.
In part, McCarthy said “I do not support what your country has done to Ukraine. I do not support your killing of the children either. And I think for one standpoint, you should pull out.”
Mika acknowledged that she has been a “frequent critic” of McCarthy, but called his statement “amazing,” and even, without irony, clapped [see screencap] in a show of her approval. It was, she said, “his best moment as Speaker of the House.”
It sounded like she was dissing Ron DeSantis by comparison. McCarthy’s statement was “much needed in terms of how some Republicans were very carefully parsing their words about aid to Ukraine, and that’s saying it mildly. This was resounding, and in an incredible situation, too.”
Willie Geist, Richard Haass, and Elise Jordan also expressed their admiration for McCarthy’s statement. “MSNBC Republican” Jordan waxed nostalgic about these words in support of Biden’s policy on foreign soil, saying that McCarthy’s statement harkened back “to that moment where there was so much more bipartisanship in foreign policy. And it was nice to see that.” As if MSNBC showed any bipartisanship in foreign policy under Trump?
Jordan must have a good memory, since the Democrats have been dissing Republican foreign policy since late in the Vietnam War. Can anyone imagine the NBC types being supportive of bashing the Soviets and their invasions back in the day?
Morning Joe’s sudden respect for Kevin McCarthy for his strong statement in support of aid for Ukraine was sponsored in party by Abbvie, maker of Ubrelvy, GlaxoSmithKline, maker of the meningitis B vaccine, and Prevagen.
Here’s the transcript.
6:01 am EDT
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: We have a lot to talk about. I just want to jump ahead to our B block for a second. Did you see Kevin McCarthy on Ukraine?
WILLIE GEIST: Yes. Very strong. [Mika begins to clap.] A Russian reporter sort of challenged him on the American support for Ukraine, and Speaker McCarthy went back hard at this Russian reporter.
MIKA: Slow clap. He went back. It was really his best moment as Speaker of the House. And nothing bad to say about that. It was a really — we’ll get to it. Have a bigger conversation about the state of the war in Ukraine.
But, the Speaker of the House really planting a flag on what needed to be said from that side.
GEIST: He did. It was his strongest comments yet on Ukraine, in particular. We’ll play that in a moment.
. . .
MIKA: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been in Israel the past few days. Where yesterday, he became the second Speaker ever to address Israel’s parliament. In his speech, McCarthy said his goal was to reaffirm the bipartisan support that Israel has in the U.S. Congress.
But he also made headlines for something he said when speaking to the media after his address. Asked by a Russian reporter about future U.S. aid to Ukraine, Mccarthy offered his strongest words yet on the war in Europe. Listen.
RUSSIAN REPORTER: We know that you don’t support the current unlimited and uncontrolled supplies of weaponry and aid to Ukraine. So, can you comment, is it possible if, in the near future, the U.S. policy regarding sending weaponry to Ukraine will change?
KEVIN MCCARTHY: Yeah, I’m not sure, the, the sound here’s not good. Did he say I don’t support aid to Ukraine? No, I vote for aid for Ukraine. I support aid for Ukraine. I do not support what your country has done to Ukraine. I do not support your killing of the children either. And I think for one standpoint, you should pull out. And I don’t think it’s right. And we will continue to support, because the rest of the world sees it just as it is.
MIKA: Wow. As a frequent critic of Kevin McCarthy, I just want to say, that was amazing. Richard Haass, and also, much needed in terms of how some Republicans were very carefully parsing their words about aid to Ukraine, and that’s saying it mildly. This was resounding, and in an incredible situation, too.
RICHARD HAASS: Well, it was good for several reasons.
HAASS: One, it was a great message to Russia, for them to hear, because if they’re counting — you know, that the Republicans aren’t going to support aid, they’re wrong. Indeed, the administration is confident it has the votes when this comes up again, probably in the summer or fall.
It was also good that he said it in Israel.
HAASS: Because Israel has been hedging its bets all along between Russia and Ukraine. So the fact that McCarthy was that clear, that black and white on this issue, was actually good.
. . .
ELISE JORDAN: I really liked that that was his message on foreign soil.
MIKA: To a Russian reporter.
JORDAN: We can debate spending, we can debate continuing to aid. But when he is on foreign soil, he’s united with the U.S. president. And it just harkens back to that moment where there was so much more bipartisanship in foreign policy. And it was nice to see that.
GEIST: It also points out the fact, John, that while Kevin McCarthy hasn’t ever been as strong as he was there —
JONATHAN LEMIRE: Yeah.
GEIST: — that most Republicans, Mitch McConnell especially, the leadership of the Republican party, has supported Ukraine.