Was Bill Kristol kidding—just throwing a sop to the not-inconsiderable ego of his host—or could he have been serious? On today's Morning Joe, unveiling his line-up of the nine Republicans he sees running for president in 2016, Kristol included none other than Joe Scarborough himself.
But in an unkind cut to someone prospectively facing the famously conservative GOP primary electorate, Kristol described Scarborough as "filling the Huntsman lane" and representing a "Morning Joe conservatism." Ouch! As interesting as were Kristol's nine [which included Sarah Palin] were the names he left off his list, including Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. View the video after the jump.
Is there any way Scarborough would actually get into the race, and if he did, could he conceivably gain traction in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina?
For your entertainment and debate, here are Kristol's nine:
- Jeb Bush
- Scott Walker
- Mike Pence
- Ted Cruz
- Rand Paul
- Mike Huckabee
- John Bolton
- Sarah Palin
- Joe Scarborough
And here are names not on his list:
- Paul Ryan
- Marco Rubio
- Rick Perry
- John Kasich
- Bobby Jindal
BILL KRISTOL: And ninth I said Joe Scarborough.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: OK! As a debate moderator.
KRISTOL: No, no: I think a candidate.
UNIDENTIFIED: Where's Perry?
KRISTOL: Rick Perry and those guys will look at the race and try the race and then realize I think they fall out in preseason and then training camp.
BRZEZINSKI: I'm not going to let that go.
KRISTOL: So that's my nine, my starting nine.
BRZEZINSKI: Why yhe number nine?
KRISTOL: I don't know. It's a baseball starting nine.
KRISTOL: See, there's this sport called baseball they play here --
BRZEZINSKI: Why would you put Joe on that list?
KRISTOL: Why did I put Joe on that list? He's a former elected official, he's got a real following out there. He'll fill the Jon Huntsman lane. I shouldn't--OK, I'll never been on this show again. That's OK, there's room for --
SCARBOROUGH: Listen, I love Jon Huntsman but it's just that coming from you, that's like waving a bloody flag to conservatives. That's why I was laughing.
KRISTOL: I've set you how so now you can show that you are much more conservative than Jon huntsman -- this is just my prediction, not my choices.
SCARBOROUGH: Say that more slowly. You said I am conservative? Is that what you said?
KRISTOL: I said you found some issues you're conservative --
SCARBOROUGH: Shut up. I'm very conservative.
KRISTOL: You would make an articulate argument for certain forms of, let's call it, Morning Joe conservatism.