Jake Tapper Won’t Dismiss Any 2016 GOP Contenders... Except Joe Scarborough

CNN anchor Jake Tapper went on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Tuesday, and naturally the 2016 presidential race came up as a discussion topic. Referring to the battle for the Republican nomination, Tapper proclaimed, “[I]t is a wide-open field, and there is no one, literally no one I would discount.”

The veteran political journalist then rattled off a few GOP hopefuls he would not discount – Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Rob Portman. He wouldn’t even discount New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in spite of the current bridge controversy. But then Hewitt’s co-host, Jamie Weinstein of The Daily Caller, asked, “What about Joe Scarborough 2016?” [YouTube video embedded below the break.]


Tapper didn’t hear the question, so Hewitt repeated it for him. The veteran anchor hesitated a moment before replying, “That, I would dismiss.”

So I guess there’s not “literally no one” Tapper would discount. Our old MSNBC pal Joe Scarborough doesn’t qualify as a serious presidential contender in Tapper’s mind.

Yet MSNBC's favorite Republican token still seems to be taking himself seriously by speaking in early primary states. Last month, he delivered a speech at the South Carolina Automotive Council’s yearly summit, and this weekend he is scheduled to address the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in New Hampshire.

It remains to be seen how far an MSNBC Republican like Scarborough can actually get in a GOP primary, but if we had to guess, we'd say no further than that eminent quasi-conservative Obama adminstration alumnus Ambassador Jon Huntsman.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the discussion from The Hugh Hewitt Show:

JAMIE WEINSTEIN, The Daily Caller: Yeah, I mean, I think that this is, you saw CPAC’s straw poll. I don’t think anyone takes the CPAC straw poll that seriously anymore. I mean, the Pauls won, I think either Rand or Ron, four of the last five or six or seven, but Ron Paul won zero primary states other than the U.S. Virgin Islands. So I do think the primary –  I mean, what do you think, Jake? Do you think that a lot of these old indicators are no longer relevant today? I mean, do people take the CPAC straw poll seriously? Do they take, you know the Ames poll I think, which Bachmann won, seriously?

HUGH HEWITT: That’s what I was trying to say, yes, but I’m 58, I’m older than Jake by a lot, so I forget names. Go ahead, Jake.

JAKE TAPPER: Well, things change, I mean, and who knows if Priebus’ plan will work. I think that there is –  I think first of all, it is a wide-open field, and there is no one, literally no one I would discount. So I’m not discounting Portman, I’m not discounting Governor Perry of Texas. I’m certainly not discovering Chris Christie – uh, I’m certainly not dismissing Chris Christie. I think absolutely Chris Christie has an argument to make. I’m not dismissing Rand Paul.

WEINSTEIN: What about Joe Scarborough 2016?



TAPPER: I think it’s a wide open field for the first time in a long, long time for the Republican Party.

HEWITT: Jamie just asked you, what about Scarborough ’16, Jake?

TAPPER: That, I would dismiss.

[laughter]

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.