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MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough On 2016, The Iran “Deal” And Hillary’s Glass Jaw

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Morning Joe joined me on today’s show:




HH: Joined now by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. Happy Easter weekend to you, Joe, I hope you get the weekend off.

JS: Happy Good Friday, and Happy Easter weekend to you, Hugh.

HH: How I want to begin by asking, you know, I’ve been named one of the questioners at the presidential debate at the Reagan Library. Is Joe Scarborough going to be on the stand up there? Am I going to be asking you questions?

JS: I don’t think so. I mean, unless I’m just an intrepid MSNBC reporter who is whispering questions about entitlement reform or something like that, Hugh. Probably not.

HH: So you’ve ruled out running?

JS: Yes, I think so.

HH: All right, just checking. Last time I talked to you, you were still flirting and do the fan dance with us. But that’s over?

JS: Yeah, I think it is. I mean, you know, things always change, but now I think I’m pretty much content to keep my head down and do my work through the 2016 election, and then we’ll see what happens after that. You know, I’ve already said at some point, I want to get back into service, public service, and hopefully I can do it while a Republican’s at the White House.

HH: Have you kept a residence in Florida, Joe?

JS: I do have a residence in Florida. And I have a 23 year old son down there, and my mom’s still down there, so I still get down to Pensacola an awful lot. It’s still home, and it feels a lot more like home, being in New York and Connecticut in April where it’s 40 degrees and raining.

HH: So if Marco Rubio declares as we expect him to do to run for president next year, any chance Joe Scarborough wants to go to the Senate from Florida to replace Marco Rubio?

JS: I don’t think in ’16, but who knows? In ’18, Bill Nelson’s up, and I don’t think Bill Nelson will be sticking around, so you know, one of these years, I think, one of these years if I did something, I’d probably look to run in Florida.

HH: Great. I made a little news there, Joe Scarborough running for Nelson’s seat in 2018. That’s our lead today.

JS: Well, you can make that up if you want to. I just said it was a possibility.

HH: (laughing) Joe, what did you make, I hesitate to call it the Iranian deal. I think it’s really sort of the Iranian hologram. What do you make of the Iranian hologram?

JS: Well, I think it’s halftime at best. I have been surprised throughout the entire process that the United States delegation was so eager to get a deal when everybody that we had on from Richard Haas to General Hayden to experts from across the ideological spectrum all said the Iranians needed the deal more than we did. I think we looked desperate, and I think the President is desperate. He’s desperate for something that he thinks will burnish his legacy. And I guess, you know, I’m just a skeptic. There are some people that said it’s going to be a bad deal yesterday that says the outlines of it look better than before, but you know, I never trusted the Soviets. I never wanted Reagan to make deals with the Soviets in the late 80s. It turned out well, but I was always against détente and against dealing with communists. And right now, I’m against dealing with a country whose supreme leader call us the evil, who says death to America at the same time he’s negotiating this deal. But we’ll see what happens. I mean, a lot of what I’m hearing right now sounds like what I heard when Bill Clinton sent Jimmy Carter over to negotiate a North Korean deal, which ended up just providing them cover. If there’s transparency at the end of the day, and if we can make sure that there’s not going to be another North Korea, then I guess I’ll keep an open mind about it. But I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t want us to do a deal with Iran.

HH: Next hour, I’m going to read this to your colleague, Chuck Todd, when he’s one with me, and I’m going to read it to you as well. It’s from Jeff Dunetz, who is a great blogger under the blogging head The Yid with a Lid. He writes, “Iran is not closing a single nuclear facility, not one centrifuge gets dismantled. Some of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium gets converted, but it all stays in the country. The entire nuclear infrastructure is intact. Iran gets to continue its nuclear research. The ballistic missile program continues. The sanctions come off as Iran complies. And while there are provisions for them to snap back, any action needed to prove through the U.N. Security Council and a possible Russian veto.” I would add, that’s the end of the quote, I would add, Joe, we have no inspections regime spelled out. And of course, they’re not going to give us inspections. This, I don’t know why people are hesitating to say this is worse than anything I could have imagined 18 months ago when they went down this road.

JS: Well, for me, the inspections is what matters the most. And again, not to keep going back to Ronald Reagan, but Reagan did it right with the Soviet Union. And I said yesterday we should have walked away from this deal like Reagan walked away from Reykjavik in, I think it was ’86, ’85-’86. And he ended up getting better deals down the road. The Iranians needed this deal. And one of the frustrations that a lot of people on my set, you know, there’s lots of people come to my set, and it can be very frustrating when they say well, there are five countries. And if the United States walks away, the other countries are going to stay there. No, we’re still the indispensable power. We’re still the indispensable economic power. If we tell a bank in Germany that if they do business with Iran, they can’t do business with the United States of America, they’re going to think twice about that. So I personally think we should have walked away. But for me, the key moving forward between now and June 30th is what kind of inspections regimen we have, and whether we can have a permanent presence in their nuclear facilities.

HH: Agreed.

JS: And I don’t think they’re going to allow us to do that at the end, and the only question is whether John Kerry and Barack Obama are going to stand up to them when they start trying to weasel out of that, too.

HH: Now let’s turn to politics and to Hillary’s server. Sidney Blumenthal was running a private, according to Gawker, was running a private intelligence service, might have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, sending what could have been compromised, could have been false flag data to the Secretary of State on her private server. She wipes it down and tells Trey Gowdy to pound sand. Joe Scarborough, do even your Democrat friends on the set of Morning Joe understand this stinks to high Heaven?

JS: Of course they do. I don’t know anybody who’s not more frustrated by this than Mika Brzezinski, my very Democratic, very liberal co-host, whose been saying for some time that it’s just absolutely maddening to her that the media gives the Clintons a free pass time and time and time again, and that they’re almost embarrassed to ask the same tough questions that they not only ask the Republicans, but that they would ask of other Democrats as well.

HH: I’m going to come right back with Joe…

JS: One of the most maddening things to me is that the news coverage of Hillary’s server is always painted in the media as some Republican-Democratic divide. Well, if you like Hillary, then you’re not going to be offended by what’s going on. But if you dislike her, then you’re going to find it to be maddening.

HH: And that’s false. Stay right there, Joe. I’ll be right back with Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe as we finish talking about Hillary’s server.

— – — –

HH: So Joe, we were talking about Hillary’s server. Is it enough to keep her out of the face?

JS: No, it’s not enough to keep her out of the race. It’s not even enough to keep Democrats from voting for her. I do think that if there are three, four, five more things like this, and there always seems to be with the Clintons. At some point, they’ll have enough of her, because unlike Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton is not quite as adept at tiptoeing through these crises and these scandals. But no, Hillary’s going to win, and we’ll see what happens on the Republican side. I do think it hurts her, though.

HH: Joe, do you think that she could last one segment, or three segments on Morning Joe? She’s got a glass jaw. Honestly, if your panel, as balanced as it is, you’ve got Democrats and Republicans on there, she couldn’t get off the Morning Joe set if she had to sit there for 20 minutes.

JS: No, we had James Carville on the other day, and he just kept doing what James Carville does. And I kept saying James, stop. We’ve heard this for 20 years. And by the end of it, we even beat James Carville down, and he admitted to Mika at the end that yes, this is a legitimate question that needed to be answered. And I just don’t know how you cloister yourself off from the media in 2016. And you know, it’s very interesting how the press responded to Hillary in 2008. We were so used to them giving Bill Clinton a free pass. But they actually, they actually ended up being tough against her at some point. Maybe that’s because they love Barack Obama so much. But I don’t think she’s going to get the same treatment in the middle of the campaign.

HH: But that comes down to this question then. Joe Scarborough, do you think she has, Hillary Clinton, do you think she has a glass jaw?

JS: I think she has a glass jaw, and I’ll be really blunt. I don’t think she’s going to be the next president of the United States. Everybody acts like she’s inevitable. But I know a lot of people very close to Hillary Clinton that are very worried right now that she has what it takes to win a general election. They think she’s going to win a primary, the Democratic primary, but they’re very worried. And think about it, Hugh. Everybody’s been talking for four years about how the Democrats are stacked against the Republican Party, there’s no way we’re going to win nationally again. All we need is somebody to win all the states Mitt Romney won, which is a pretty low bar for the Republican Party. And then you win Florida, Virginia and Ohio, which I think any of these major candidates can beat Hillary, and then you just have to pick up four electoral votes. And there are about ten states that Republicans can win there. I’m actually feeling very bullish on 2016 right now if we nominate the right guy or woman.

HH: Joe Scarborough, you just made my Easter weekend. Thank you. And Eastern lilies to you.

JS: All right. Thanks, Hugh.

HH: Have a great one. Joe Scarborough from MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

End of interview.


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