Nicolle Wallace Lumps Rick Scott with Charlie Crist: Untethered to 'Moral Compass'

October 28th, 2014 8:12 AM

If on national TV you pass along from a "friend" an extremely damning charge about someone's morality, do you have an obligation to identify that "friend" or provide some sort of substantiation for the charge?  Nicolle Wallace apparently doesn't think so.

On today's Morning Joe, speaking of Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, Wallace blithely passed along the charge from an unnamed "friend" from Tallahassee that "these are two guys who are the least tethered to any sort of moral compass that have ever run against each other."  

Wallace provided nothing in support of the harsh assessment.  But she made it in the context of a discussion of a new ad by Scott attacking Crist for taking big campaign contributions from strip club owners.  At the center of the ad was a clip from a TV interview in which Crist said he would not return the contributions.  The interview was conducted by Jim DeFede, who has written for Tina Brown and Mother Jones, and is anything but a right-wing attack dog.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Let's go Florida, shall we? It's getting even more colorful, if it's possible. The race for governor now getting nastier. As The Fix frames it in the Washington Post, the latest ad from Republican Rick Scott will make you thankful the election is almost over. [cut to ad]

JIM DEFEDE: You've taken about $90,000 from various strip club owners including $40,000 from a gentleman who owns the Cheetah in Hallandale Beach up here. And they call on you to return that money if for no reason, just the sexism involved in taking money from a strip club owner. Why have you not returned that money?

CHARLIE CRIST: Because we got it from a management company.

DEFEDE: But you know where the source of the money is from.  Now that you're aware of the sourece of the money, would you feel that it's appropriate to return it?

CRIST: No. I don't.

BRZEZINSKI: The CBS News/New York Times poll has the Florida race in a statistical tie.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: That's an ugly race. Willie?

WILLIE GEIST: It's a bit of a reach. I'm not defending where he gets his money but then to connect him to sex trafficking because he took money from a guy that owns a strip club? I think that's probably why people don't like politics very much.

SCARBOROUGH: You think? Yeah. Wow!

NICOLLE WALLACE: A guy from Florida said: "these are two guys who are the least tethered to any sort of moral compass that have ever run against each other."

UNIDENTIFIED: Ever? That's saying a lot.

WALLACE: This is a friend of mine from Tallahassee, so he's seen -- and you know, Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush were politicians who I think very clearly and publicly always tried to do the right thing; they didn't succeed. I think people in Florida are pretty depressed about their choices.