In his Politico column and on Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough made the case for Newt Gingrich from the Republican primary voter's perspective, pointing to Gingrich's record of winning back the congressional majority, achieving balanced budgets and passing welfare reform.
Scarborough then proceeded to trash Gingrich, saying that: 1. he'd never vote for him; 2. Gingrich would be a "danger to the country"; 3. Gingrich is a "bad person" in political if not personal ways; and 4. Gingrich would lose to Obama in a rout, winning 100 electoral votes at best. Video after the jump.
Watch Scarborough's split take on Gingrich. And note how Joe sends a message to the people who "blog about this show" not to misinterpret his remarks about Newt being a "bad person." Wonder who Scarborough might have had in mind?
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I have not supported Newt, I am not going to vote for Newt, I will not support him in any way . . . That said, if I'm a Republican in South Carolina and I don't know just how erratic and undisciplined Newt Gingrich is, and what a danger to America he'd be, I would sit there and think, OK . . . here is a guy, Newt Gingrich, who faced down Bill Clinton in 1994, came in, gave Republicans their first majority in a generation . . . Gingrich master-minded a takeover, first in a generation, within a year we balanced the budget, had a balanced budget amendment out, within three years we balanced the budget for the first time in a generation, four years in a row for the first time since the 1920's, passed welfare reform . . . All I'm explaining here is why Republican voters across America who haven't seen the train wreck that has been Newt Gingrich's political career and life would say you know what? I'm going to vote for him instead of Mitt Romney.
MARK HALPERIN: So, he's got a new wife, and he's converted to Catholicism and he's a grandfather. Do you two hold open the possibility he could be a changed man and a different man than the one who you think would be dangerous?
SCARBOROUGH: I've got to answer that, because no . . . He is not a nice human being. He is a bad person when it comes to demonizing opponents . . . When he puts on his political helmet he is a terrible person . . . Let me tell you something: the Republican establishment will never make peace with Newt Gingrich: they just won't! They won't: this is an important point. Because the Republicans I talk to say he cannot win the nomination at any cost: he will destroy the party. He will re-elect Barack Obama and we'll be ruined. That's going to happen. I mean Newt Gingrich would possibly win 100 electoral votes. If Newt Gingrich wins the primary, Ohio's out of play, Pennsylvania's out of play, Wisconsin's out of play, Minnesota's out of play, Florida's out of play, Virginia's out of play--his home state--out of play. All the swing states are out of play. This would be a rout. Even for a president who in my opinion--Barack Obama--has failed on just about every front, he would, it's just stunning . . . There are a lot of people who blog about what we say here. I want to say: when I said Newt Gingrich is a bad person, I thought I was clear: his political character, when he puts on that political helmet, he becomes a very bad actor. Just like a football player may be great off the field, may be a wonderful dad, a wonderful husband, etc. But sometimes, put on a helmet and they do cheap shots.