Scarborough: Tea Party Congressmen Should Try Not to 'Scare Little Kids and Pets'

Parade magazine, the Sunday newspaper supplement, interviewed MSNBC host Joe Scarborough for its January 2 issue and praised him by reporting he has "happily confounded expectations. He's a die-hard conservative who has hosted the Morning Joe show on liberal-minded MSNBC for more than three years.  He's openly critical of both President Obama and his own party." They didn't explain Mr. Die-Hard Conservative complains about both from the left, which doesn't confound anyone's expectations about MSNBC. Scarborough shared his usual arrogant thoughts about how this is "the Republican Party's last chance," and how Palin stinks:

You wrote a blistering piece on Politico about Sarah Palin in November. Did you hear from her?
No. I will say I flinched when I wrote it, because I know the personal impact words can have on candidates’ kids and spouses. But I just know she’s not qualified to be president. By the way, I don’t think she’s going to run. I don’t think it was a coincidence that a lot of that presidential talk came when she was releasing her book. As Newt Gingrich said, “Tell people you’re going to run for president—it helps move books!”

What advice do you have for the incoming Tea Party members?
In 1994 we were elected because of [dissatisfaction with] Bill Clinton, and we were seen as overreaching and shrill, so we effectively re-elected Clinton in 1996! If Republicans overreach in 2011, they will re-elect Barack Obama in 2012. They need to focus but make sure they don’t scare little kids and pets. This is the Republican Party’s last chance—not just for me but for the American voters. They will either mean what they say or be swept aside.

In your 2009 book, The Last Best Hope, you favorably compared Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan. Would you still make that comparison today?
No, I wouldn’t. Ronald Reagan knew who he was. Barack Obama is still working through that equation politically.

What Democrat do you admire most?
Hillary Clinton. She’s doing a great job as secretary of state. I was surprised that the woman we were deriding as an out-of-touch left-wing elitist in 1993 became the hero of working-class Americans in 2008. It was a remarkable transformation. 

Parade boosted Scarborough's ego by boosting him for national office as the interview continued online:

Might that ticket be you and New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, as the rumors say?
If someone could figure out which one of us has the capacity to be vice president, I'd like that person to explain it. I've been around Mayor Bloomberg, and people who've been around me would laugh at the notion that either of us [could settle for being second-in-command].

And as usual, Scarborough reserves for himself the mantle of civility. He openly says being a host on MSNBC gives you more power than being a Congressman:

Have there been moments--say, during the tax debate in December--when you wished you were back in Congress?
Not yet. I think I may at some point. We have more influence doing the show. There are 435 members of Congress. There's one Morning Joe show. Hopefully, we can keep hammering the argument that you can disagree with other people and have debates but remain civil.

This, from the guy who tells critics to "kiss my [bumper]" on air.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis