Joe Scarborough: Anthony Weiner is 'Chuck Yeager of Sex Scandals'
Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough made a strange analogy while discussing the latest Anthony Weiner sex scandal: "You know, let's just say he is the Chuck Yeager of sex scandals, he is constantly pushing the envelope, and breaking – I mean this is like The Right Stuff for sex scandals. Nobody has ever been here before, he is in new ground, new territory." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Moments earlier, Scarborough put Weiner in line with other disgraced politicians making political comebacks: "We now officially live in the age of Bill Clinton, where you can survive a scandal. I mean, you look at Mark Sanford, you look at David Vitter, you of course look at President Bill Clinton, you look at Eliot Spitzer....it's not about the scandal, it's about competence. And the question is, can these people do their jobs?"
In response, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie pointed out: "Joe, you're talking about second chances. This is Anthony Weiner essentially asking for a third chance." That prompted Scarborough to make the comparison between Weiner and the famed Air Force general that broke the sound barrier.
When asked by Guthrie if there would be more revelations about Weiner, Scarborough predicted: "Yeah, I think – I think he can't help himself."
When Guthrie asked if there was a chance Weiner would leave the New York City mayoral race, Scarborough asserted: "Absolutely none. Absolutely none."
While Wednesday's Morning Joe devoted an hour of discussion to the scandal, Weiner was never identified as a Democrat.
Here is a full transcript of Scarborough and fellow Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski on the July 24 Today:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let's go to Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the hosts of Morning Joe on MSNBC. Good morning to both of you.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Good morning.
SCARBOROUGH: Good morning.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Weiner Admits to Post-Scandal Sexts; Wife Huma: "I Have Forgiven Him. I Believe in Him."]
GUTHRIE: Well, Joe, let me ask you, I mean, are you shocked or not shocked by all of this?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Shocked. I mean, come on. I mean, we – we now officially live in the age of Bill Clinton, where you can survive a scandal. I mean, you look at Mark Sanford, you look at David Vitter, you of course look at President Bill Clinton, you look at Eliot Spitzer. I think Eliot Spitzer's gonna win. In the end, to paraphrase Michael Dukakis, it's not about the scandal, it's about competence. And the question is, can these people do their jobs? Spitzer obviously can do his job. He's gonna win. Mark Sanford obviously was more equipped to be Congressman. And when you look at the issues, when you look at the debates, he was on top of it. The people of South Carolina elected him.
GUTHRIE: Joe, you're talking about second chances. This is Anthony Weiner essentially asking for a third chance. I mean he said yesterday, "I told the voters other texts and photos were likely to come out and today they have." That defense sounds to me like, "Hey, voters, you were warned."
SCARBOROUGH: You know, let's just say he is the Chuck Yeager of sex scandals, he is constantly pushing the envelope, and breaking – I mean this is like The Right Stuff for sex scandals. Nobody has ever been here before, he is in new ground, new territory.
But I'll tell what I think ultimately will be his undoing, Savannah. The longer we go out from this point and from this press conference, we're gonna look at the time line and we're gonna realize what he was doing and what he was saying publicly while he was having the People magazine articles written about the new Anthony Weiner, and also of course, when you look at the New York Times magazine cover that, you know, we supposedly got a new and improved Anthony Weiner. It now is obvious the different person was Carlos Danger.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Weiner Admits to Post-Scandal Sexts; Does He Stand A Chance in NYC Mayoral Race?]
GUTHRIE: The name he went by. Let's bring Mika into this. I want to ask you, Mika, about Huma Abedin. She is obviously asking voters to make a distinction between the personal and the political, saying she has forgiven him. But hasn't she herself kind of blurred that line now by putting herself into the campaign? She's in those gauzy campaign videos and she spoke yesterday at that news conference.
MIKE BRZEZINSKI: What she did yesterday was extraordinary. I've never seen anything like it before in my life. We've seen political wives standing by their man, but this was different. What she did was step in and step up for a man who has disgraced her with behavior that is not in the realm of normal acceptance. Cheating has been accepted, adultery has been accepted, and there are arrogant political figures out there who have been lifted up even after disgracing their families with adultery.
This is different. Online sexting and these conversations that Anthony Weiner allegedly had, have put her in an incredibly awkward position. And she stepped up, faced the cameras. It was hard to watch. And if he succeeds, Savannah, it will be because she lifted him out of the political sewer and put him up, dusted him off, put him up on the shelf next to a bunch of arrogant egotistical politicians who somehow have the lack of self-awareness to really take a look at what they've done. Oversexed politicians who think they can do anything they want.
GUTHRIE: And Joe and Mika, I've got about twenty seconds left, I want to do the lightning round with you. Yes or no answers, or something approximating it. Okay, Joe? Number one, do you expect more revelations of this type?
SCARBOROUGH: I don't know. I would expect probably where there's – yeah, I think – I think he can't help himself.
GUTHRIE: Do you think there's any chance, Joe, that he drops out of this race?
SCARBOROUGH: Absolutely none. Absolutely none.
GUTHRIE: And Mika – okay. Mika, do you think there's any chance he can win?
BRZEZINSKI: I do. I think his wife is the key here and his wife has learned from the master, Hillary Clinton, her boss.
GUTHRIE: Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, always good to get the two of you together and get your opinion. Thank you.
SCARBOROUGH: Thank you so much, Savannah.