Five days ago, this NewsBuster wrote that Harold Ford, Jr. "seems more interested in cultivating friends and avoiding offense than in saying anything interesting." On Morning Joe that day, Ford had managed to praise a trio of pols, even breaking out the old "my dear friend" line to describe one of them. When Ford employed the same shtick on today's show, Joe Scarborough eventually had enough, sarcastically asking Ford whether there's anyone he doesn't "like and respect."
This morning, Ford variously praised "the great Tip O'Neill," said he has "great respect" for Patty Murray, and even professed "I like Paul [Ryan] too." When Scarborough hit him with his pointed question, Ford responded by saying that he was a Christian who sees the good in all. That led to more ribbing from Scarborough and Willie Geist, who recalled a campaign ad from Harold's Tennessee days in which he posed in a church pew. View the video after the jump.
Enjoy watching Scarborough call Ford out for his shameless schmoozing.
HAROLD FORD, JR.: I echo the points made at the beginning of the show and to Mike [Barnicle's] point about the weirdness of the town, there was a time when this was not weird. You come from one of the great states and one of the great leaders who helped create this environment, the great Tip O'Neill understood you had to work with both sides.
. . .
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: As Kelly [O'Donnell] just mentioned, Senate Democrats unveiled their plan for the budget. Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray briefed Democratic senators and President Obama over lunch on Tuesday. The plan reportedly calls for raising tax revenue by one trillion and slashing spending by 975 million.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Harold is smiling. Harold, how would you like to be a Democrat going back to the people of Tennessee, going "and I raised your taxes a trillion dollars?"
BRZEZINSKI: How are they doing it?
FORD, JR.: I shake my head. Because it reminds me, if you're a pedestrian and you're watching this, this is Willie's question. This is where we were six months ago, three months ago. I have great respect for Senator Murray, I think she believes in her budget.
SCARBOROUGH: Of course you do.
. . .
FORD, JR.: I would agree with Joe. With all due respect, I like Paul, too. But to say you're going to repeal the health care act when you campaigned on savings, the president taking money out of --
SCARBOROUGH: Can I ask you--Willie and I have a question for you. Is there anybody you don't like and respect?
FORD, JR.: I'm a Christian, Joe. Good in all. I don't mean it's good policy, but there's good in all.
SCARBOROUGH: You know, Willie, Harold had a campaign ad, he's in a pew.
WILLIE GEIST: Cue it up!
SCARBOROUGH: Do we have it? Do we have it?