Joe Scarborough to GOP Leadership: 'Good Luck' Controlling Tea Party Members

The coming conflict between Tea Party Republicans and the mainstream GOP leadership will be both "ugly" and "exciting," remarked MSNBC's Joe Scarborough Tuesday morning, Nov 2. But count on one thing: the Tea Partiers will be playing ball their way.

"Good luck controlling Rand Paul, good luck controlling Marco Rubio, good luck controlling other people that, uh, that I think Jim DeMint are going to have an influence on," Scarborough warned the Republican leadership.

Multiple times on the Nov 1st  and 2nd  segments of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Scarborough was one panel member to throw a wet blanket on the Republican wave. While not saying that a 60-plus seat gain in the House was out of the possibility for Republicans, Scarborough kept pondering a more modest, and thus disappointing, gain for the GOP.
 

Among other problems the Republicans would encounter, Scarborough also predicted a rift between the Tea Party and the Republican establishment on Capitol Hill. He also questioned if Republicans will be much better leaders than the Democrats of the past two years.

"The Republicans' record from 2001-2009 was as bad as anyone's in the history of this country," Scarborough asserted. "Why should Americans who are voting, specifically independents voting today, why should they be led to believe that this Republican Party is going to be any different than the Republican Party during the Bush years?"

Seemingly discounting the addition of Tea Party candidates to the GOP's lineup, Scarborough continued that President Obama wasn't that much worse, fiscally, than President Bush.

"Barack Obama hasn't been a bargain for the American taxpayers, but it is hard to suggest that he's been much worse than Bush Republicans," Scarborough commented.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a rising Republican star, cared to disagree. "George Bush, eight years, increased the national debt two trillion dollars. Barack Obama, two years and his first three budgets, increased the national debt four trillion dollars," Gov. Barbour pointed out.

A transcript of both segments, which aired on November 2 at 7:06 a.m. EDT and 8:08 a.m. EDT respectively, is as follows:

MSNBC MORNING JOE 11/2/10 7:06 a.m. EDT

JOE SCARBOROUGH: But the Tea Party leaders don't trust the Republican establishment any more than they trust the Democratic establishment. They don't.

PEGGY NOONAN: But they'll have a great meeting in January, probably over the issue of whether or not to raise the debt ceiling.

SCARBOROUGH: It is going to be very ugly, I predict, at times for John Boehner, dealing with Tea Party members who owe loyalty to him or the Republican establishment.

(...)

SCARBOROUGH: And you know, the question is when does the presumptive front-runner – the presumptive front-runner that I must say most people in the Republican establishment don't believe is going to win the nomination – when does Mitt Romney step forward?

(...)

PAT BUCHANAN: I think Mitt Romney will have to be in this race by March, and by then, I agree that becomes the face of the party, that becomes the individual who's on "Meet the Press" because he's going to have a positive agenda of where he wants to take the nation, whereas Boehner and the others really do not have – they haven't been given...

SCARBOROUGH: They're going to be fighting, again, Tea Party members. Good luck controlling Rand Paul, good luck controlling Marco Rubio, good luck controlling other people that, uh, that I think Jim DeMint are going to have an influence on.

PEGGY NOONAN: They were having – Republicans in the Senate were having troubles keeping their conference together in the House and the Senate before the grassroots came in. The grassroots are coming in in January and it's, uh – oh, it's going to be rock-and-roll – it's going to be a great story.

SCARBOROUGH: It's going to be exciting, but –

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MSNBC MORNING JOE 11/2/10 8:08 a.m. EDT

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well governor, you brought up three points. Your first three points on why Republicans are going to win is the same reason why Republicans lost three years ago – outrageous increases in spending. Exploding deficits. Crippling debt. The Republicans' record from 2001-2009 was as bad as anyone's in the history of this country. Why should Americans who are voting, specifically independents voting today, why should they be led to believe that this Republican Party is going to be any different than the Republican Party during the Bush years?

Mississippi Gov. HALEY BARBOUR: Let's just say, Joe – and I don't want to exceed to the idea that this is not a big difference in magnitude. I mean George Bush, eight years, increased the national debt two trillion dollars. Barack Obama, two years and his first three budgets, increased the national debt four trillion dollars. Now you multiply that to eight years, and you'll see an eight times faster growth in the national debt.

SCARBOROUGH: Governor, not to correct you, but George W. Bush came in with a 5.7 trillion dollar national debt. When he left it was over 11 trillion dollars. He came in with a $155 billion surplus, yearly surplus. When he left, it was over a trillion dollars. Let me tell you something. Barack Obama hasn't been a bargain for the American taxpayers, but it is hard to suggest that he's been much worse than Bush Republicans.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014