NBC Republican: Scarborough Says 'Throw Hastert Under the Bus'

Perhaps there should be a new definition of 'RINO': Republican in NBC Only.

Went it comes to hiring Republicans, NBC/MSNBC has a pronounced predilection for those with no special love for the party of Lincoln. Guys like Pat Buchanan, who quit the GOP to run against George Bush and loves to lambaste him. Or Joe Scarborough, who this morning predicted Republican doom and suggested hurling Hastert to the wolves.

The former Republican representative from the Florida Panhandle, now host of his own MSNBC show, was Matt Lauer's guest on 'Today.' The two played 'Can You Top This?' when it came to foreseeing the worst for the GOP in light of the Foley fiasco. Examples:

Lauer: "Let's talk about Dennis Hastert. What troubles me here is a couple of high-ranking Republicans, John Boehner and Tom Reynolds, go to him, they say months ago, and they talk to him about the situation with these emails and Mark Foley, and Hastert according to them says 'I am aware of it, it's taken care of.' Now Dennis Hastert doesn't remember that conversation. That seems hard for me to believe."

Interesting that Lauer has heaved his reporter's hat and has now assumed the role of news analyst/editorialist, informing the world as to what "troubles" him and what he "finds hard to believe."

Sounding like a man eager to ingratiate himself with his bosses, Scarborough enthused: "You are right. You hit the nail the head. This is what hurts Dennis Hastert and Republicans more than anything else: You have a Speaker of the House that says he doesn't remember being told that a page, a young boy was targeted by a sex predator inside his Congress."

Joe continued to pile on: "When I went up to Congress, we were told there had been problem with the pages. Something Dennis Hastert knew. It was terrible and raises too many disturbing questions."

Lauer: "Let's say we believe Dennis Hastert. He doesn't remember this. Doesn't it at least raise questions about his oversight in an important matter?"

Scarborough: "No doubt about it. But here's the deal. But somebody is lying. Either Tom Reynolds the head of the Republican Congressional Committee who has a very difficult race in New York is lying or Hastert is lying."

Lauer cited poll numbers showing a GOP downtick, and invited Scarborough to suggest the worst: "In other words, are you saying that the Republicans to turn those numbers are going to have to, for lack of a better expression, have to throw somebody under the bus other than Mark Foley?"

Scarborough: "They will have to throw Dennis Hastert under the bus."

Lauer: "Do you think he should resign?"

Scarborough: "I think politically, the Republicans have to do something dramatic. . . I think whatever they do will be too little too late. This is the final straw that broke the camel's back. It's the base that's going to be upset by the Foley scandal that will end up dooming the Republican majority. I think Nancy Pelosi is the next Speaker of the House."

Lauer: "Interesting prediction."

Matt concluded by thanking Scarborough "very much." You can be sure of Lauer's sincerity toward his compliant guest.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.