Politics in Pieces: MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Co-Hosts Share Election Insight at the 2016 NAA Capitol Conference
The race for the presidency is a mess.
Its as simpleand as troublingas that, according to Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBCS Morning Joe, who shared her thoughts on the election year at NAAs Capitol Conference.
Despite their vast political differences, co-host and former Florida Congressman Joe Scarborough agrees with Brzezinski, a liberal from the Northeast.
My Republican party has been shattered into pieces this year, Scarborough told attendees. Its been torn to shreds.
At the center of the Republican partys dismantling? No surprise, its Donald Trump.
Youve got a candidate who is running away with the Republican race because there are so many in it, and an establishment in D.C. that just will not accept this guy, Scarborough said.
In the Democratic race, Scarborough said the only difference between the races of Bernie Sanders and Trump is that Sanders is alone against Hillary Clinton. Conversely, a crowded playing field in the Republican Party could force a brokered conventionthe first since 1976.
A conservative from the Deep South, Scarborough despised former President Bill Clinton.
Hes like a Beach Boys songeveryones met this guy, Scarborough joked. He dominates a room and his hands are everywhere. He doesnt care if youre a man or a woman; hes gonna feel you up. I was seduced; Ill admit it.
Still, Scarborough said Clintons presidency marked an era of forward progress for the country that is absent in todays political climate.
Even during the impeachment, [Bill] said to Congress, We are working together, Scarborough said. We had a Democratic president who couldnt stand the Republican Congress and vice versa, yet we balanced the budget for the first time in a generation and created 22 million jobs that decade. People put the best interests of the country ahead of their political parties.
Scarborough cited the unlikely friendship between former President Ronald Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Tip ONeill as another example of both sides of the aisles working together for the common good.
Reagan and ONeill had a rule, Scarborough said. We will fight like Hell during the day, but at 6 p.m. were friends. There are times where guard rails have to go up and there are no guard rails in American politics today. Thats why everyones vote means so much in 2016.
If asked to vote today, Scarborough said he would elect John Kasich, the Republican Governor of Ohio. However, he said his ideal candidate was Jeb Bush.
Republicans are disconnected from the people who have voted for them, he said.
Despite feeling the Bern, Brzezinski said her vote will likely go to former Secretary of State Clinton.
I do have some struggles with [Hillarys] campaign, admitted Brzezinski, bestselling author and daughter of former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. If it were Clinton versus Kasich, I would have a hard time deciding.
Regardless of the outcome, Scarborough said the country will see an Independent president in the next decade. The role of social media, in particular, has made it unnecessary to have strong political party ties.
One Trump tweet against Bill Clinton dropped Bills approval rating from 51 percent to 39 percent, Scarborough said. Thats incredible.
Although Scarborough anticipates a victory for Clinton come November, he cautioned the audience with advice from conservative commentator William F. Buckley: Never debate with an amateur, theyll kill you every time.
Trump may be the amateur, but the American people will have the final say.
In the end, Scarborough said, demographics are destiny.
Lauren Boston, Staff Writer and Manager, Public Relations at NAA. Read more of Lauren's coverage of the NAA Capitol Conference and Lobby Day in the April issue of Units Magazine.