I talked with Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show, today about the president’s reaction to the recent San Bernardino shootings and its relation to the 2016 presidential candidates.
The audio: 12-04hhs-scarborough
HH: 44 minutes after the hour, joined now by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC. Joe, I got to begin by asking you, can you believe that they let the terrorist home open to the public? What degree of confidence do you have in this administration? This is part of the administration.
JS: Well, they turned it back to the landlord, the landlord then turned it over to NBC, and I can tell you, there are people inside NBC that were shocked by what they were seeing on TV. Kerry Sanders was uncomfortable with it, Andre Mitchell looked aghast, Lindsey Graham said, “I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Andre said, “I’ve never seen anything like this before either.” It was pretty shocking stuff that they opened it up, but listen, there are so many things that have bee n happening in the past several weeks that I have no parallels and I usually have a parallel to just about everything. I’m paid very well to have historical parallels with what’s going on today and what’s going to happen in the future. I can’t here because you got a president that said ISIS was a JV team, a bunch of losers, then he said you could JV player in a Kobe Bryant jersey and he’s still in a JV team, he called the Paris attacks and sat back, right after the Paris attacks, the White House said ISIS couldn’t hit here. The president basically said the same thing, he said there nothing but a bunch of killers with good social media. I’m dumbfounded, and I was dumbfounded this morning on the show when we ran a clip of Obama saying, “Well, this may have been a workplace dispute.” And it wasn’t on the first hour of the show, but I heard a lot of people around the table saying, “Yes, the president’s right, we really don’t know what it is.” No, we know what it is. A mother does not leave her six-month-old child home and go off to her death in like “Bonnie and Clyde” because of a workplace dispute.
HH: No, it was clearly terrorism.
JS: . . . And at this point, it’s time for Democrats to start explaining that the president is being willfully ignorant because he’s afraid that he’s going be proven wrong about ISIS and about Syria and about a foreign policy that has been a disaster for the past eight years.
HH: That is exactly what is going on. I just posed that to Chris Christie and he said he can’t speculate what’s going on in the president’s head–
JS: Oh, I can speculate.
HH: . . . but I believe, Joe Scarborough, you just nailed it. Would you expand on that as to–
JS: This is a president does not like to admit he’s wrong. He’s got two failings. The first failing is he can never admit that he’s wrong. He doesn’t have anybody else around him that can tell him that he’s wrong. That’s number 1. Number 2, his entire presidency and his state of mind and his entire foreign policy is framed by an obsessive drive to not be George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and so he wants to do whatever he can to make sure that his presidential library says that he got us out of two wars and didn’t start a third. And so we, I don’t want say we’re all here being held hostage, I don’t know what the exact language, let’s just say that we’re at the president’s mercy over the enxt year, year-and-a-half and hope that he can swallow some of his pride, admit that he was wrong in 2010 when he started moving our troops, admit that he was wrong when he ignored 100,000 [to] 200,000 people dying in Syria, admit that he was wrong when he said ISIS was a JV team, admit that he was wrong when he said Paris was just a setback, admit that he was wrong that nobody can strike the homeland of American and admit that he was wrong yesterday when he said this could be workplace dispute. He was willfully ignorant and he is every bit ideological as Dick Cheney on his most ideological day.
HH: I believe he’s far more ideological than Dick Cheney.
JS: Well, even if it was about ideology, Dick Cheney always erred on the side of safety. This president is actually erring on the side of his ego.
HH: Let me ask you, Joe, you remember when we had a 9/11 commission–
JS: . . . This is a reckless homeland security policy.
HH: And we had a 9/11 commission investigate the lapses allowed 9/11 to happen. Are we going to have any kind of inquiry that we can trust, emphasis on trust, into how an ISIS cell got into the country, activated and assembled a dozen pipe bombs, assembled 5,000 rounds of ammunition and nobody knew nothing.
JS: Well, I really wish we had the luxury of doing that, Hugh, but we don’t have the luxury of doing that because tomorrow this might happen in Charlotte, next week it may happen in Dallas, the next week after that, it may happen in San Jose. This can happen all across America and it could happen because we have a president who will not only face up to the reality that’s facing Americans that even Hilary Clinton is admitting, this is a president that won’t call Islamic terrorism by its name. And by the way, that in it of itself, that doesn’t scare me, but when you have a president that’s in denial, not even call it by its name, won’t even admit how dangerous it, won’t even admit it will strike America after Paris, then suddenly you stop worrying about what happened yesterday and you start worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow.
HH: That’s well said. Now does the former Secretary of State change her tone because Joe, she has been an accomplice in this. ISIS is in Libya as their backup headquarters because of her policies and she has not been exactly candid about what’s going on here either. She treated out all the gun control nonsense for two days.
JS: Yes, she tweeted the gun control nonsense, I will tell you so, maybe because Barack Obama has set the standard so low at this point, that I take comfort in Hillary Clinton actually talking about how ISISI is an evil force and how we have to go there and we have to defeat them. I get excited when Ash Carter say that the heart of ISIS is in Libya and Syria and we have to go there and we have to rip it out. There are people around the president that will say what the president of the United States will not say. Hilary Clinton yesterday, while the president was saying it could be a workplace dispute, said, “It’s looking like terrorism.” I’ll tell you this, it’s in Hillary Clinton’s best interest to speak truth to power. It’s in Hilary Clinton’s best interest to call Islamic terrorism what it is – Islamic terrorism – because there is growing fear in America and it is a fear that Donald Trump is actually working on, it’s why his numbers are jumping up, it’s why he’s 20 points ahead in the latest CNN poll and it’s why he’s going to move ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and across the Deep South because I was saying this morning on the show, it reminds me of what caused Reagan’s rise in 1965 and 1966, something you know better than anybody else. It was because the then-governor of California was clueless on the Watts riots and the President of the United States wasn’t as aggressive as he should have been. Lyndon Johnson – Ronald Reagan stepped into that void and he spoke to the fear that a lot of Californians had a rising number of Americans had and that’s why Reagan won in a landslide in 1966. It’s basically the same philosophy Berry Goldwater had in 1964 when he got wiped out. That’s what’s happening now in America. Barack Obama is creating a void that people like Donald Trump can step into and if Hilary Clinton stays tentatively behind the President of United States instead of worrying about protecting us at home and worrying about protecting us across the world, then she’s going to, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it is the truth, she will lose the general election.
HH: She will lose. Joe Scarborough, let’s finish up the hour. I’ll be right back, don’t go anywhere. You’re listening to the Hugh Hewitt Show.
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HH: We’re back, 55 minutes after the hour, Hugh Hewitt talking with Joe Scarborough of MSNBC, finishing up the hour talking to Joe. Let’s turn back to the election. I cannot because of the debates, make predictions, endorsements, or criticize people, I’m just being objective, but do you believe Donald Trump is going to be the nominee of the GOP? It sounded like that just now.
JS: It’s too early to say. The establishment wing of the Republican party is very fortunate that they moved the Iowa and the New Hampshire caucus back to February because I think January is going to be a wild month. If the dates were where they were four years, I would say yes, Donald Trump is going to win. January, though, it’s going to be a madhouse. It’s going to be a mad dash, and I think you’re going to see actually looks like Ted Cruz’s, that sort of intramural battle between Cruz and Rubio. It looks like Cruz is winning that right now and I think right now Donald Trump’s biggest challenge is going to come from Ted Cruz.
HH: And not Chris Christie whom I spent the first half of this hour with?
JS: Well, listen, I think Chris Christie, I have to say, of all the candidates I’ve talked to, I think Chris Christie, and I shouldn’t say this because I could get in trouble because most of them are friends of mine, but I think Chris Christie right now is in mid-season form. I think he’s running the best campaign on the trail if you look at what’s happening in New Hampshire and in townhall meetings, there’s nobody that’s any better. I think for Chris Christie to win the nomination, he’s going to have to do more than just win New Hampshire. He’s going to have to have a better showing of Iowa which Mark Halperin thinks he will, and he’ll have to come in second or third in Iowa, and then if he wins New Hampshire, who knows what happens in South Carolina? He could actually get beaten in the South and then turn back North if he’s the candidate of the Northeast, and New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, that’s what John McCain wanted in 2008. Chris Christie could win it in ‘16 that way, but it’s hard to even talk about that when Donald Trump’s 20 points ahead of everybody and everybody in the GOP establishment and the mainstream media have declared him dead on arrival about 10 or 11 times and just keeps getting stronger.
HH: Joe Scarborough, on that note, thank you–
JS: The weaker Barack Obama is, the stronger Donald Trump will be.
HH: Good assessment. Joe Scarborough, have a great weekend.
End of Interview