"Endorsed by Joe Scarborough!" -- Not something you're likely to see in any Ron DeSantis GOP presidential primary ads anytime soon.
But Scarborough did come close to doing that on today's Morning Joe.
Condemning Trump for what he described as his disregard for the rule of law, Scarborough addressed himself to Trump supporters, saying, "go to DeSantis." His notion was that DeSantis represents policies similar to Trump's without posing what Scarborough sees as Trump's threat to democracy.
Scarborough, presumably mentioning DeSantis because he's closest to Trump in preliminary polling, suggesting "it could be anybody." Maybe he's hoping for Larry Hogan to enter the race?
"I'm hoping that they'll love America enough that they'll turn their back on this guy who keeps, who keeps attacking the rule of law. And go to DeSantis....
I said DeSantis, but it could be anybody in the Republican party who hasn't actively tried to overthrow the United States government."
This is a departure from most ex-Republican Trump haters, who are currently hating DeSantis with the same ardor that they hate Trump.
Note: Ed Luce, a stalwart liberal from the Financial Times, agreed with Scarborough, saying that Trump poses "a huge threat" to democracy. But Luce repeatedly expressed misgivings regarding the prospect of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg prosecuting Trump in connection with a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.
He said that would be the equivalent of the International Criminal Court issuing an arrest warrant for Putin for shoplifting.
Luce opined that the hush money charge would be the ground Trump would like to fight on. Luce argued that instead, "we need to get Trump on the scale of the crimes he has committed." He gave as examples possible indictments in Georgia for Trump's alleged attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election there, or stemming from special counsel Jack Smith's investigation into Trump's handling of documents at Mar-a-Lago. Luce is offering the standard liberal take, that they never like the sex scandals, the "trash for cash" Clinton-style imbroglio.
Joe Scarborough telling Trump supporters, "go to DeSantis" was sponsored by Booking.com, GoDaddy, Sleep Number, and Allstate.
Here's the transcript.
7:25 am EDT
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You can lose elections and still love America. And still defend the rule of law, which Donald Trump and his supporters do not.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I just wonder in the January 6th investigation, if all of this behavior, if I call it, but really, like calling for danger, calling for violence, and threatening federal prosecutors, and the Manhattan DA and whoever else he's threatening.
If, if this is being accounted for and will somehow all point to some sort of accountability for Donald Trump in terms of what he has done to, number one, January 6th, the Capitol attack, but also to the safety of others?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I know, and I had said before that Donald Trump and his supporters, a lot of his supporters, you know, don't support the rule of law. I'm hoping that will change at some point. I'm hoping that they'll love America enough that they'll turn their back on this guy who keeps, who keeps attacking the rule of law.
And go to Desantis, or go to somebody else who actually, they can agree with his positions without having somebody who, who again, and I said DeSantis. It can be anybody in the Republican party. But, but somebody who hasn't actively tried to overthrow the United States government.
Ed Luce, Mika started talking about some of the things Trump has done. I mean, it just keeps stacking up. Again, you've got the New York Post saying that he's deranged, and, and, and rightly so. But here you have a guy who pressured his own attorney general to arrest his opponent two weeks before the presidential election.
MIKA: I am your justice.
SCARBOROUGH: And, and arrest his family. Here's a guy who, of course, led the January 6th riots from the White House. Getting, you know, putting the tweets out to have the people come, and then sitting there staring for two hours, refusing to do anything, watching violent rhetoric.
Here's a guy who said he wanted to terminate the Constitution of the United States. Here's a guy that said if he got charged for a misdemeanor, possibly, there would be death and destruction in America.
Here's a guy that held up a baseball bat and retweeted something next to Bragg's head. And his lawyer just sits there. Again, they, everybody tries to excuse it. He's talking about terminating the Constitution of the united States, and sending out violent imagery. And his supporters just stay with him.