MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan appeared on Morning Joe, Wednesday, to dismiss Barack Obama as a "little boy" in the eyes of Wall Street and to assert the President "just bends over," rather than stand up to the financial industry. [Audio available here.]
The charged language surprised host Joe Scarborough who sputtered, "You know, I was so uncomfortable with a couple of the things you said and then the exclamation point at the end."
Speaking of financial reform, Ratigan attacked, "...When the Wall Street guys got across the table from him and said 'Oh you going to change our tax code little boy?'" After dismissing Obama's ability to oppose Wall Street, Ratigan vulgarly claimed, "But with this guy, he just bends over every time."
Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski expressed their amazement over the comments, prompting Ratigan to first asserted, "I'm not trying to offend." He then quickly changed course and opined, "I am trying to offend, because I am offended. And everybody in America is offended and they are right to be offended."
Ratigan isn't the first MSNBC and Morning Joe regular to make highly questionable comments. On February 23, 2010, Donny Deutsch appeared on another program, the Joy Behar Show, and referred to Republican Marco Rubio as a "coconut." (Coconut is a racist term for Hispanics who are brown on the outside and white on the inside.) Deutsch later apologized.
Considering that many liberal journalists have jumped on any criticism of Obama as proof of racism, it will be interesting to see how Ratigan's comments are received.
A transcript of the July 14 segment, which aired at 7:11am EDT, follows:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: When do we start cutting back?
DYLAN RATIGAN: We start cutting after we start clawing back. I don’t know why, as country, we refuse to deal with the issue of compensation that is being paid out to individuals who are taking that money predicated on their control of the government and not on their introduction of any value. 75 percent of what happens in the financial industry is a racket. It should be basically outlawed so that we can restore capitalism. And why we don’t deal with tax dodge that exists at the top. Again, Barack Obama, very aggressive in his campaign trail about [starts doing an Obama impression] how he was going to take care of the private equity tax loophole and work for the American people. It's not a very good Barack Obama. Maybe that was-
JOHN HEILMANN: Sounds more like a Texas Congressman.
RATIGAN: And he didn’t do it, when it came down to it, when the Wall Street guys got across the table from him and said "Oh you going to change our tax code little boy?" I think not. Because I’ll tell you right now, when you’re a 75 or an 80 year old billionaire from New York who is looking at any government in this country that’s trying to play with the tax code- Who know who wins, the 80 year old billionaire from New York every time. If its Teddy Roosevelt in office who is not intimated by these types of people he might say "Listen. I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how rich you are, its not going to happen." But with this guy, he just bends over every time.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Dylan, you're very- Oh, my God!
SCARBOROUGH: You know, I was so uncomfortable with a couple of the things you said and then the exclamation point at the end.
RATIGAN: It's unbelievable to me. I'm not trying to offend.
RATIGAN: No, no. They want to cut teachers and cops, okay?. You want to cut teachers and police in California, in Massachusetts and Ohio, but you don't want to restore any fairness to the tax code or eliminate the theft, let alone the extraction? We go to BP, health care, etc.
SCARBOROUGH: You don't actually try to offend.
RATIGAN: I am trying to offend, because I am offended. And everybody in America is offended and they are right to be offended.