After 35 Hours, MSNBC Panelist Bravely Admits: 'I Don't Agree With Joe' Scarborough

It only took 35 hours for MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin to bravely announce, "I don't agree with Joe" Scarborough. A day after appearing on his show, the Game Change co-author more firmly refuted Scarborough's pessimistic assessment that the entire GOP establishment thinks Mitt Romney will lose the general election.

After Hardball guest host Michael Smerconish played a clip of the negative Scarborough comment, Halperin mocked, "Michael, I've worked in TV for 25 years. When the host of the show says something, you have two choices. You can say, 'That's exactly right, Joe!'"  [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Halperin continued, "Or you can follow the advice of Bambi's mother: 'If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.'"

On Thursday, Halperin quibbled, saying that he didn't "totally" agree with Scarborough.

Halperin allowed that there is "pretty broad-based pessimism" amongst some Republicans. But he claimed, "I think there are plenty of Republicans who are cautiously optimistic but who believe Mitt Romney can win this."

On Thursday, Scarborough insisted:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Nobody thinks Romney's going to win. Let's just be honest. Can we just say this for everybody at home? Let me just say this for everybody at home. The Republican establishment--I've yet to meet a single person in the Republican establishment that thinks Mitt Romney is going to win the general election this year. They won't say it on TV because they've got to go on TV and they don't want people writing them nasty emails.  I obviously don't care. But I have yet to meet anybody in the Republican establishment that worked for George W. Bush, that works in the Republican congress, that worked for Ronald Reagan that thinks Mitt Romney is going to win the general election.

A transcript of the April 5 Hardball exchange can be found below:


5:16

MICHAEL SMERCONISH: Mark, by the way, you were on Morning Joe when Joe Scarborough described the gloom and doom within the GOP about Mitt Romney's chances this fall. Let's watch this.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Can we just say this for everyone at home? The Republican establishment, I have yet to meet a single person of the Republican establishment that thinks Mitt Romney will win the general election this year. They won't say that on TV because they have to go on TV and they don't want people writing them nasty e-mails. I honestly don't care. But I have yet to meet anybody in the Republican establishment that worked for George W. Bush, that works in the Republican Congress, that worked for Ronald Reagan that thinks Mitt Romney is going to win the general election.                           

SMERCONISH: As we wait for the sequel to Game Change, does that comport with your reporting? Is that what you, Mark Halperin, are hearing from the GOP folks?

MARK HALPERIN: Michael, I've worked in TV for 25 years. When the host of the show says something, you have two choices. You can say, "That's exactly right, Joe!"

SMERCONISH: Or nothing. 

HALPERIN: Or you can follow the advice of Bambi's mother: "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." I don't agree with Joe on that. I do agree that there is pretty broad-based pessimism among some elements of the establishment. There are some people who are waiting to see- have Romney prove to them that he can actually win this. But, look, he signed Ed Gillespie up, Ed Gillespie, one of the best strategists in the Republican Party, if he can put his imprimatur on the Romney campaign, I think there are plenty of Republicans who are cautiously optimistic but who believe Mitt Romney can win this.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org