MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Eugene Robinson on Tuesday’s Morning Joe procured an excessively sycophantic rant about President Joe Biden’s foreign policy amid Russia’s war on Ukraine and an upcoming NATO summit he was in Europe to attend. They credited Biden for the introduction of Sweden and Finland into NATO, as well as for the existence of most of America’s military alliances across the globe.
Scarborough gave Biden credit for the strength of NATO and its partners- which have existed for decades before Biden got into the White House, but also absurdly suggested Biden’s leadership was the reason the US had allies such as South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, and even Guam, which was not an independent country but instead a US territory.
Scarborough’s attempt to discredit decades of American foreign policy initiatives and steal credit for them on behalf of the Biden administration could be equated to a foreign policy version of plagiarism.
He ranted: “This is the pivot to Asia that George W. Bush was going to do. This was the pivot to Asia that Barack Obama was going to do. This was the pivot to Asia that Donald Trump was going to do. This is the pivot to Asia that Joe Biden, a guy who can't really ride a bike that well, his critics will say, that Joe Biden had done.”
There was one massive problem with Scarborough’s assertions. Joe Biden didn’t initiate those alliances. NATO was founded shortly after World War II, and expanded since then. Sweden and Finland entering the alliance was a direct result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, not some kind of amazing leadership by the Biden administration. Putin’s carnage did more to strengthen NATO than Biden did.
And as for Asia, you’d think Scarborough would be smart enough to know Guam wasn’t a country we had an alliance with. It was a US-owned island since 1898. The Quad alliance was formed in 2007 by Shinzo Abe and came back to prominence under President Donald Trump in 2017. Countries like the Philippines and Australia and South Korea have been US allies since the Cold War. India became closer to the US with the Indo-US nuclear agreement under Bush and Trump’s BECA deal.
Robinson called it “really an extraordinary piece of statecraft and diplomacy that President Biden and Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin and his team have put together that make this happen.”
Unless you hold Biden responsible for starting the war in Ukraine and the many preexisting military and economic alliances America has forged since World War II, it wasn’t Biden’s statecraft and diplomacy that created these results. At best, he barely built on work done by previous administrations from both parties and held together those alliances in a world on the edge of massive conflict and possibly World War III. But Scarborough and Robinson’s praise of Biden here was rampantly dishonest and reeked of megalomania.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
MSNBC’S Morning Joe
6:16 AM ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You know, leadership matters as it pertains to the United States, as well. And there you see Joe Biden walking out once again, and, of course, his critics wondering, you know -- making comments about how he walks.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: [Laughs]
SCARBOROUGH: I'm dead serious. Making comments about how he walks. Finland becomes a member of NATO. How he falls off a bike. Sweden becomes a member of NATO. How-
BRZEZINSKI: Eats an ice cream cone.
SCARBOROUGH: How, yeah, he eats an ice cream cone. The United States of America puts together, Gene Robinson, perhaps, not only the greatest alliance in European history in peacetime, but also around China. I mean, there is a reason. There is a reason why President Xi has been angry at the United States of America. And it's not because we shot down a balloon. It’s because we've ramped up pressure on them. And Joe Biden and the Biden administration has strengthened our military relationship with Japan, with the Philippines, with Guam, with Australia, with South Korea. They are getting hemmed in every day, and they don't like it.
This is the pivot to Asia that George W. Bush was going to do. This was the pivot to Asia that Barack Obama was going to do. This was the pivot to Asia that Donald Trump was going to do. This is the pivot to Asia that Joe Biden, a guy who can't really ride a bike that well, his critics will say, that Joe Biden had done. And again, there's so much fluff, there's so much -- so many points scored on style instead of substance. You just look at the results. Look at the results. There’s not a-
BRZEZINSKI: Across the board.
SCARBOROUGH: There's just not a comparison to what has happened the past two and a half years, really what happened in the 15 years preceding that.
EUGENE ROBINSON: Absolutely. He just gets stuff done. You talked about Asia. This Quad group with Japan and Australia and India and the United States has, it's something that China kind of just didn't see coming. And it's put them kind of on the back foot. And then you look at that map, the three-dimensional Morning Joe graphics map of Europe and NATO, and the Baltic Sea, you can now call it the NATO sea if you wanted to. I mean, with Sweden, you make Sweden green, and you are essentially encircling the Baltic Sea which, of course, thanks to Peter the Great, is Russia's great sort of outlet to the Atlantic and to the world.
But there you have it; it’s surrounded by NATO. It's really an extraordinary piece of state craft and diplomacy that President Biden and Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin and his team have put together that make this happen. And happen faster than anybody could imagine. Nobody thought NATO would emerge this much stronger from this direct challenge from Vladimir Putin. And he’s getting exactly the opposite of what he wanted. And you just have to credit Joe Biden's leadership. He’s the leader of the free world.