Former congressman and current morning show host Joe Scarborough says if George W. Bush were in the 2016 primary race he would have walloped Donald Trump.
During a wide-ranging interview on Politico reporter Glenn Thrush’s podcast, Scarborough unleashed on Trump and the GOP:
SCARBOROUGH: None of these guys knew how to get at Trump at a gut level.
SCARBOROUGH: George W. Bush, a guy that I had a lot of problems with politically and who had limited political skills in some areas–George W. Bush would’ve cut Donald Trump to shreds with a single look.
Thrush then asked the MSNBC host how he would have fared against Trump in a hypothetical match-up:
THRUSH: How does a Joe SCARBOROUGH, who’s got that visceral connection with those Southern Baptists–how would you have run a race? If you were on that first or second debate stage with Trump, how the hell would you have dealt with that?
SCARBOROUGH: I think you’d just go to him. He’s a bully, and you don’t let bullies bully people. You just mock him. See, the one thing Donald Trump can’t stand is people calling him out, and instead of becoming indignant about it, laugh at him.
THRUSH: Which he hates.
SCARBOROUGH: Which he hates. Oh, really? Really, Donald? You gave, you know, so much–and just whatever claim he makes. And you could make it on foreign policy. You could make it on domestic policy.
So the way to defeat Trump, according to Scarborough, is to ridicule and mock him? Uh huh. Well, that certainly explains why Marco Rubio is the presumptive nominee. Because his ridicule and mockery of Trump really worked out well for him, didn’t it?
So Scarborough is all about mocking Trump? Uh huh…
Of course, this is the same Joe Scarborough who flirted with the idea of being Trump’s running mate in January.
HH: No, Joe, pause with me for a second. It makes perfect sense. You’re not the first person I’ve told this to. I have told a number of people Trump will ask Scarborough to be his running mate for a whole variety of reasons, especially Florida. And you’re not a stranger to Virginia, and you know your way around politics. So just, really, would you say yes?
JS: Oh, you know, I will say this, and I’ve said this on the air, and so this is not really any secret at all. I’ll do anything that will get, will stop us from eight more years like the past eight years we’ve had.
HH: Amen. And so if that included saying yes, you’d say yes?
JS: I mean, I think I’d put myself in your category. I would do just about anything to try to get the White House back.
HH: All right, that’s a yes. I mean, that’s a yes, Joe.
JS: No, it’s not a yes. You tried this before with, I think, Senator here or Senator there, but anyway…
HH: I have. You know, I’m always trying to get Joe Scarborough out of…
JS: You’re telling me this is why I walked away from dinner with my kids, to not answer this question?
HH: You did answer. You’d say yes. That was not Shermanesque. I heard a yes there, and people will be writing about it tomorrow, and they’ll start to think about it. And when it happens, in Cleveland, if Trump is the nominee and Scarborough’s the VP, they will look back and say Hewitt called that in January.
And during the winter primary season (and morning show ratings war) Scarborough was so cozy with Trump it raised plenty of eyebrows. The Daily Beast openly questioned whether the MSNBC show was “too cozy” with the Trump campaign after they secured an exclusive town hall event before the South Carolina primary:
In what may or may not be another manifestation of competitive zeal, Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Pensacola, Florida, has come under fire for alleged coziness with candidate Trump in tough stories posted last week on the CNN Money website and a censorious segment this past Sunday on CNN’s media analyses program,Reliable Sources.
Other media outlets—from The Baltimore Sun to National Review—have also questioned or criticized Morning Joe’s relationship with Trump, and CNN’s team of five media reporters can hardly be expected to ignore an election-year phenomenon that is regularly covered in venues like The Washington Post.
Trump has surely become the media equivalent of crack over the past eight months—nowhere more so than on Morning Joe.
Scarborough also told Thrush he would not rule out voting for Hillary Clinton if there isn’t a viable third option:
THRUSH: Would you ever consider voting for Hillary Clinton?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, yeah, I mean, I’d consider voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
THRUSH: So she’s not–you have not ruled her out.
SCARBOROUGH: I haven’t ruled her out. I mean, for me, what scares me with Hillary is the Supreme Court. I mean, I’m a conservative guy. I’m worried about three Supreme Court justice nominees that could change the balance of the Supreme Court for the next generation.
So I don’t rule voting any of them out. I do find it hard to believe, though, that I would be voting for Hillary Clinton. I–you talk about–I go in the voting booth, I look down. Can I see myself voting for Hillary Clinton? Probably not. Donald Trump? There’s a chance, but–