MSNBC’s Brzezinski: ‘You Could Argue' Republicans 'Wrecked the Economy’

On Monday’s Morning Joe show on MSNBC, during a discussion of President Obama’s recent suggestions that he would be willing to talk with Republicans about health care reform, co-host Mika Brzezinski recounted Obama’s initial refusal to include the GOP, and claimed that Republicans "ARE the ones, you could argue, who wrecked the economy," which set off co-host Joe Scarborough. After Brzezinski claimed that "The last administration put us in the position that we are in," Scarborough denounced Democrats for pushing Republicans to support lending more money to people who could not pay back their mortgages.

He also brought up campaign contributions President Obama received from mortgage companies. Scarborough: "And, by the way, while I was being critical of the Republican party for allowing people to get mortgages they couldn't afford to repay, Democrats were calling Republicans racists. Barney Frank calling them racists for not giving even more mortgages they couldn't afford to pay. ... Barack Obama, the guy that got more money from Fannie and Freddie executives than anybody else on Capitol Hill doesn't exactly have clean hands here."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, February 8, Morning Joe, on MSNBC, from about 8:09 a.m., with critical portions in bold:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: So, Mike Barnicle, what happens is, when the President opens the door, he’s got to listen to the ideas. And how does he not support tort reform, an idea that his base will hate, that his trial lawyer buddies will hate, but an idea that the CBO says will save Americans $54 billion?

MIKE BARNICLE: Joe, if he doesn’t want to be completely decimated as a party this November, he’s going to have to accept something out of this meeting from the Republican side of the aisle. If, of the three things-

SCARBOROUGH: By the way, ideas that the majority of Americans support.

BARNICLE: And if, of those three things that you mentioned, if he accepts one, I think he’s at 62 votes already.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Exactly.

BARNICLE: He picks up Scott Brown, Susan Collins, and the other Senator, and Olympia Snowe from Maine. He’ll pick up the New England moderates. There’s only three. There’s only three. You’ve got to give them something.

BRZEZINSKI: I don’t know.

BARNICLE: They can’t go back to Maine and Massachusetts and say we said no again.

BRZEZINSKI: I think it’s really great. And I also think it seems kind of like the natural process. I mean, you talk about the reticence to work with Republicans because they ARE the ones, you could argue, who wrecked the economy, so maybe there was some reticence at first. And now, we’re seeing far too left. [SCARBOROUGH LAUGHS] And now we’re – what? I thought this was a good reset(?).

SCARBOROUGH: They wrecked the economy? You know, by the way-

BRZEZINSKI: The last administration put us in the position that we are in.

SCARBOROUGH: By the way, nobody has been more critical-

BRZEZINSKI: Than you.

SCARBOROUGH: -of the Republican party than myself.

BRZEZINSKI: I know, I’m not saying you’re not.

SCARBOROUGH: But let us be clear-

BRZEZINSKI: What?

SCARBOROUGH: While I was criticizing the Republican party for spending too much money-

BRZEZINSKI: Yes?

SCARBOROUGH: -Democrats in Congress were criticizing the Republican party-

BRZEZINSKI: Yes?

SCARBOROUGH: -for not spending enough money. And, by the way, while I was being critical of the Republican party for allowing people to get mortgages they couldn’t afford to repay, Democrats were calling Republicans racists.

BRZEZINSKI: Does that deny the fact that the Republicans-

SCARBOROUGH: Barney Frank calling them racists for not giving even more mortgages they couldn’t afford to pay. So Barack Obama, by the way, one of the biggest – wait, hold on a second, hold on, wait a second-

BRZEZINSKI: Uh-huh.

SCAROBROUGH: -oh, that’s right, Barack Obama, the guy that got more money from Fannie and Freddie executives than anybody else on Capitol Hill doesn’t exactly have clean hands here.

BRZEZINSKI: I’m not saying-

SCARBOROUGH: So maybe everybody should sit down and talk, Republicans and Democrats alike.

BRZEZINSKI: Exactly, and I’m saying-

SCARBOROUGH: Well, you were just supporting him saying the hell with the Republicans last year.

BRZEZINSKI: No, that’s not what I said.