Mark it down, said Joe Scarborough. Okay, done. On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough repeatedly, emphatically, declared that Ted Cruz's campaign is "over." The campaign ended, said Scarborough, when Cruz lost evangelicals in South Carolina to Trump, despite the Donald's praise of Planned Parenthood.
Scarborough let it be known that he would have voted for Jeb Bush, and also admires John Kasich. But with Jeb gone, Joe wants to clear the field of both Kasich and Cruz to set up a one-on-one between Rubio and Trump. Given the criticism of Scarborough for what some of us saw as bias against Rubio, interesting that Joe now would like to give Rubio, among all others, the chance to take Trump down.
Joe Scarborough has been in touch to say this: "I don't want to clear the field of anyone. I was asked how Trump is stopped. My political calculation was just that. I must say that is the biggest mistake people make watching our show. Assuming that my political analysis has anything to do with what I want. That's like John Madden saying the Bengals are going to win a game and people saying that he must be a Cincinnati fan."
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So let's be really blunt about it, Mika like we've been blunt for nine months and people have hated us for it, when we said Donald Trump was going to be a big force in the field. Let's be honest and blunt this morning, okay, because that's why people tune in our show. Ted Cruz's campaign is over. I'll tell you when it ended. And you said it. Off camera. I'll say it on camera. It ended in South Carolina when Donald Trump beat Ted Cruz among evangelicals after coming out in support of Planned Parenthood.
Ted Cruz's campaign is over! Mark it down. He's not going to win the nomination. He may win Texas. It's over! And what happened yesterday was an ugly, terrible exclamation point --
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: -- window into his world --
JOE: -- to the end of Ted Cruz's campaign. I'm not being hateful any more than I was sucking up to Donald Trump when I said before anybody else that the guy was going to be a player here. Other than Mark Halperin and Mika said it as well. It's over, Chuck Todd. And the question is, you may not believe that. It's over for Ted Cruz.
CHUCK TODD: Oh, I agree for Ted Cruz.
JOE: Who can get Ted Cruz out of the race? --
JOE: -- and to a lesser degree, who can get a guy that I respect tremendously, and since Jeb's out of the race, who I was going to vote for, I'd probably vote for if Kasich were still around because I love that guy. But who can get Kasich, and who can get Cruz out of the race, so it's a one-on-one between Marco and Donald?