Ego, envy, or airtime: What's behind Joe Scarborough's spat with Marco Rubio

But many of Mr. Rubio’s allies, and even some pundits, view Mr. Scarborough’s distaste for him as driven by something more elemental: envy.

“Almost every election cycle since Joe left Congress, there is talk that he should run for U.S. Senate, governor, or something else,” said Brian Crowley, a former Florida political reporter, adding that after Mr. Rubio became the Florida House speaker, “he started crowding that space.” Mr. Scarborough is a former Republican congressman from the state’s panhandle…

“Morning Joe” occupies a crucial place in the Washington-New York ecosystem. It is the default screen setting in the Senate gym, and considered must-watch television among the politerati. But it is unclear that the show wields as much influence outside the Beltway.

That Mr. Rubio could become his party’s nominee despite having never appeared on the show during the 2016 cycle does not bother Mr. Scarborough — or so he said. He argued that he had more power from his seat in Rockefeller Center than he would from one of 100 seats on the Senate floor. “All the senators watch ‘Morning Joe,’ all the congressmen watch ‘Morning Joe,’ everybody at the White House watches ‘Morning Joe,’ ” he said.