Is this latest setback from Standard & Poor’s for the U.S. government’s credit rating really the “tea party downgrade,” as so many of the movement’s detractors claimed over the weekend?
Not completely, according to MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough. On his Monday program, the former Florida Republican congressman pushed back at the blame his co-host Mika Brzezinski and other panelists on his show levied on the tea party in the wake of the S&P downgrade.
“Just stop, Mika — I sit around this table this morning and everybody is blaming everything on the tea party … and when I simply say the responsibility deserves to be shared by everybody, suddenly there’s an explosion,” Scarborough said. “Then the false suggestion that I am defending the tea party when I have written editorials for weeks claiming the tea party should take the grand bargain.”
Despite Scarborough showing that he wasn’t completely on board with the tea party movement, he blamed President Barack Obama for failing to demonstrate leadership. (RELATED: Buchanan vs. ‘Morning Joe’: ‘This is the same liberal demagoguery that got us in the mess’)
“So, please don’t tell me that I don’t put any blame on the tea party,” Scarborough continued. “But you know what, governor [Ed Rendell]? These are the sort of false choices that this president masters in. He basically says, ‘Oh, you have to be for the tea party or you are with those of us that like sweetness and light, and education and R & D and infrastructure.’ I’m telling you, Ed, this is a leadership problem. It starts at the top. It starts with the president of the United States, and a strong leader like you could sell this to America.”
Later Scarborough reminded viewers the Democratic Party had control of Washington, D.C. from January 2009 through January 2011.
“I love how the tea party is being blamed for absolutely everything when this president owned Washington, D.C. for two years and did absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing,” Scarborough said. “Stop blaming the tea party for like earthquakes in Tehran. Seriously, it’s ridiculous.”