Joe Scarborough: Conservative Gathering CPAC Just About Anger and Hate

In what has become a recurring theme on MSNBC, Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough railed against the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for failing to invite Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J) to the event.  On the February 26 edition of the program the self-described “true conservative” Scarborough slammed CPAC as not being about winning elections, but instead being an echo-chamber that focuses on “hate” and “anger.”

The segment began with liberal co-host Brzezinski expressing shock over the line-up of speakers at CPAC, including Sen.Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, prompting Scarborough to throw out that, “It shows just how sick some elements of the conservative movement are.”  [See video after jump.  MP3 audio here.]

Scarborough completely ignored the fact that Christie has done his level best to alienate himself from conservatives. For example, on Halloween of last year, Christie demonized House conservatives saying, “There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims, the House majority, and their Speaker John Boehner.” 

Scarborough, who persistently protests that he is a “true conservative” who says in his words likes "to destroy my political opponents” claims that CPAC:

Underlines just how little they care about actually electoral victories. They have a coalition now that cares about talk radio ratings and I understand you have to say extreme things to get those talk radio ratings. They care about book sales and the more extreme you are when you're writing books, that's great. They care about raising contributions on the congressional level, not the presidential level. They realize that you raise contributions on the congressional level by saying the most extreme things humanly possible. It’s good for the mailing lists. This is not about victory.

Scarborough then justified his so-called conservative credentials by giving examples of how he stood up to the Republican Party:

I've had people call me over the past several years, despite the fact ideologically I'm more conservative than most of them. If you’ve looked at what I’ve said every year since 1994. How I voted, the positions I did, how early I came out, I was one of the first conservatives to come out against George W. Bush's reckless spending back in 2003. I started doing a segment on it every single night on my show, every single night, in 2003, but I'm called a RINO because it's about resentment and hating Democrats and hating. And of course that's not how you win. Maybe at the end of the day I am a RINO. Maybe some of these right wing lunatics on the air are right. Because apparently these days being a Republican is not about winning so maybe I should call myself a Republican in name only.

 Scarborough concluded his daily anti-Conservative rant by claiming that:

So many of those people are shams, they’re not true conservatives. And we can see it now. They don't care about winning. They care about hate, resentment, selling books, talk radio, things that in the end keep us out of the White House for another generation.

If Scarborough were a true conservative, wouldn't he be doing more to bash President Obama's reckless spending and challenge the president to rise to the occasion to make the sequester work?

After all, Obama makes Bush look like a piker by comparison on the spending front. No, Scarborough is comfortable with the path of least resistance, playing nice with his liberal bosses at MSNBC as the network's pet "conservative."

 

See relevant transcript below. 


MSNBC

Morning Joe

February 26, 2013

6:02 a.m. EST

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: When conservatives gather at CPAC three weeks from now, they'll do so without one of the most popular Republican leaders in the country. Have you heard this?

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I did.

BRZEZINSKI: Sources inside CPAC say that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will not be invited to speak at the conference. The decision comes despite Christie having a record high approval rating of 74% among New Jersey voters. Well it looks like Christie won’t be taking the podium at CPAC. Here are some of the people that have been invited.

SCARBOROUGH: Okay, because if you're going to get the guy who has a 74% approval rating

BRZEZINSKI: Well, you’re not going to get him.

SCARBOROUGH: In a blue state,

BRZEZINSKI: Right.

SCARBOROUGH: If he’s not coming

BRZEZINSKI:  You’ve got something better.

SCARBOROUGH: In a state that hasn't won a presidential election since 1988.

BRZEZINSKI: This will be major CPAC event. Because if you don't need Chris Christie.

SCARBOROUGH: It’s going to have to be huge. And here, I thought the Republican bench was not deep.

BRZEZINSKI: No, they’re going to blow people away. Here we go. Here's the list. Are you ready? Are you serious? So failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney is speaking.

SCARBOROUGH: Hold on. Did Willie -- I wasn't -- did he win or lose?

WILLIE GEIST: Lost by a nose.

SCARBOROUGH: He lost by a nose.

BRZEZINSKI: Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has a slot.

SCARBOROUGH: She's -- Willie

GEIST: Another nose, four years previously.

SCARBOROUGH: So she lost everyone knows four years ago.

BRZEZINSKI: Former Senator Rick Santorum.

SCARBOROUGH: He won something, I think.

BRZEZINSKI: Oh, my lord. Freshman Senator Ted Cruz. I don't even have like anything snarky to say. I am really sorry.

STEVE RATNER: Why are you sorry?

BRZEZINSKI: I feel bad.

RATNER: As a Democrat you should feel good.

BRZEZINSKI: Oh, no I’m feeling good. But I feel bad, too. Because this is pathetic. Other speakers include rumored 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

SCARBOROUGH: That's good.

BRZEZINSKI: Okay, Bobby Jindal.

SCARBOROUGH: That’s good.

BRZEZINSKI: Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan.

SCARBOROUGH: That's good. So, this is fascinating. And it shows just how sick some elements of the conservative movement are.

BRZEZINSKI: Want me to read Stewart Stevens.

SCARBOROUGH: How insular they are. Because again, here with Chris Christie, you’ve got a guy. And I wrote about this last week, why should conservatives like Chris Christie, after all he's done nothing conservative over the last four years, nothing other than declaring war against extreme government union bosses, fighting for education reform. Spending less on this year's budget than Corzine spent five years ago on his budget. Reforming and keeping afloat the state’s dying pension program, the health program by eliminating colas, increasing employee contributions. I mean the guy has done everything. He also cut business taxes by $2.6 billion. Over 100,000 new jobs in his one state over the past year or two. He's the first pro-life governor and that's important to a lot of people at CPAC, in New Jersey, since Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973. What's conservative about him?

BRZEZINSKI: Right, it makes sense. No CPAC for you, Chris Christie.

MIKE BARNICLE: Maybe he didn't want to go.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, actually what this shows is if "Politico" is to be believed, he's not invited. This underlies the big problem about the conservative movement over the past few years, it's not about winning, it’s just not about winning. It is not about winning. It is about sitting inside of an echo chamber of resentment.

BRZEZINSKI: Chirp small elbows.

SCARBOROUGH: It is about resentment, it’s not about victory. And let them have their little conference and play their little games and leave the one guy out who is the electoral success story over the past four years.

BRZEZINSKI: Could it be because of his alliance with the president during hurricane sandy. It could not be that small.

SCARBOROUGH: He hugged the president. Listen, this is again -- I actually am glad this is happening because it underlines just how out of touch some elements of the conservative movement are. It underlines just how little they care about actually electoral victories. They have a coalition now that cares about talk radio ratings and I understand you have to say extreme things to get those talk radio ratings. They care about book sales and the more extreme you are when you're writing books, that's great. They care about raising contributions on the congressional level, not the presidential level. They realize that you raise contributions on the congressional level by saying the most extreme things humanly possible. It’s good for the mailing lists. This is not about victory. See and this is what separates me. I've had people call me over the past several years, despite the fact ideologically I'm more conservative than most of them. If you’ve looked at what I’ve said every year since 1994. How I voted, the positions I did, how early I came out, I was one of the first conservatives to come out against George W. Bush's reckless spending back in 2003. I started doing a segment on it every single night on my show, every single night, in 2003, but I'm called a RINO because it's about resentment and hating Democrats and hating. And of course that's not how you win. Maybe at the end of the day I am a RINO. Maybe some of these right wing lunatics on the air are right. Because apparently these days being a Republican is not about winning so maybe I should call myself a Republican in name only. Because you know what I like to do?

RATNER: Win.

SCARBOROUGH: I like to win and not only do I like to win, I like to destroy my political opponents. I like to beat them so badly -- And I told my staff this, I want their dogs to be embarrassed of them the morning after the election. I want them to hang their head in shame. And the next time somebody thinks about running against me, I want them to say, I ran against that guy and he beat me so badly that my dog, three years later, still won't look at me in the eye. That's what I like doing. I like winning. And these people they like selling books, they like making money. They like raising money. And at the end of the day they don't understand the first damn thing about what Chris Christie understands, what it takes to win in 2013.

RATNER: But they also like a level of ideologically purity that simply does not work in modern politics. Right, you have to have a big enough tent to win as you just said. And these guys want to define their tent in an incredibly narrow way.

SCARBOROUGH: But it's not just about ideological purity. So many of these people were defending George W. Bush when he was blowing a hole in the federal deficit. I mean when he was spending more money than any democrat ever spent. Do you think CPAC went crazy in 2004 when George w. Bush passed the 7 trillion dollar Medicare drug benefit plan that he didn’t paid for? No. Rick Santorum’s going to be there. Rick supported the $7 trillion drug benefit plan.  Paul Ryan’s going to be there. Paul Ryan supported thee $7 trillion drug benefit plan that wasn’t paid for. I could go down the list of the people that were there.  This is not about true conservatism. It is about resentment and it’s about hate and it’s about anger. And if you get along with the other side then you’re not sufficiently conservative and let them just boil in their own stew because these people, by excluding Chris Christie have shown their hands and it is a great great service to the conservative movement. True conservatives like me. So many of those people are shams, they’re not true conservatives. And we can see it now. They don't care about winning. They care about hate, resentment, selling books, talk radio, things that in the end keep us out of the White House for another generation.

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.