Scarborough Mercilessly Mocks Rubio's 'Firewall' in Nevada

February 22nd, 2016 10:32 AM

If there was one theme on today's Morning Joe, it was Joe Scarborough's relentless, merciless mocking of the notion that Marco Rubio has an electoral "firewall" in Nevada. It began with Mika Brzezinski's citing of a National Review article from December that spoke of such a firewall. Joe, butter not melting in his mouth, turned to Mark Halperin, coyly wondering why he was laughing at the notion. Halperin opined that, in fact, Donald Trump was likely to carry Nevada with his biggest margin yet.

Scarborough returned repeatedly to his routine, even working it into a Richard Haass report on the upcoming elections in Iran, with Scarborough declaring that Rubio had a "firewall" there, too. It was a pitiless Scarborough pile-on, persisting right through the show-closing "What Have We Learned?" segment, in which Joe claimed that "Nevada is Spanish for Rubio" and that, yes, one more time, Rubio has a firewall there.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Mark Halperin, he grew up here, he invested a lot of money here, the National Review said in this article, forget about the first three states, this is his firewall. They were saying that about a month or so ago [actually exactly two months ago] when Rubio was facing a lot of criticism about not investing, they said this is the state that he was putting all of his chips on. So, it looks like he should be in a really good position to win. Why are you laughing? He keeps laughing.

MARK HALPERIN: All my reporting suggests that Trump's going to win this state by the biggest margin of any state he's won yet.

. .  . 

JOE: But he's from Nevada, it's his other home state, he's invested there, it's his firewall --

HALPERIN: He may well finish second here.

JOE: -- this is a state he needs to win, right? He should win this state.

HALPERIN: He may well finish second --

JOE: But he's got to win!

HALPERIN: -- though driving around the Strip, I saw a giant building that said "Trump." But I didn't see any buildings that said "Rubio." I mean, I don't think he's going to win. Trump has got a big lead here, it's his kind of state. He's worked this state pretty hard, he's got rallies here, so I have no indication Marco Rubio will win this state. Or come close. 

JOE: It says it's his firewall.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: All right: we get the point.

JOE: Willie, it's his firewall.

RICHARD HAASS: Elections in Iran: you're not going to have to stay up all night, Joe, I want to reassure you.

JOE: Thanks God.

HAASS: The exit polls won't be critical. The real question, funilly enough --

JOE: You know, ironically enough, you know who the National Review says is going to win? 

MIKA: Stop it.


JOE: You said it, not me: it's his firewall. 

. . . 

JOE: Again, you look at the Mormon community, and you look at the fact he lived there --

MIKA: -- has roots there.

JOE: -- it was his first home until, I guess, eighth grade. Was it eighth grade? And then obviously you look at this: they've been planning --

MIKA: -- the ground game --

JOE: -- for a long time for it to be his firewall. It should be a good win for him.

. . . 

JOE: Let's talk Nick [Confessore of the NYT], cause it's one thing, and I understand Nevada is Rubio's firewall . . . 

. . . 

JOE: Nicolle, what did you learn? 

NICOLLE WALLACE: I learned that sometimes you can be talking with your mouth, but you're almost always laughing at me with your eyes.

JOE: What? What is this? It sounds like a Hallmark card or something.

MIKA: Did you learn anything?

JOE: I did, I did. 

MIKA: I don't think I want to hear what it is.

JOE: I was just talking to Alex [Korson, executive producer], you know, San Diego is German for something, I forget exactly what. But I just learned from Alex that "Nevada"-- now this is really freaky--but I had no idea. "Nevada" is Spanish for "Rubio." Look it up in Wikipedia.

MIKA: Okay, I'm just going to put an end to this- Steve Kornacki --

JOE: -- it's his firewall.