Scarborough: Biden gave Democrats ‘an excuse to believe,’ but hurt his 2016 chances

Jeff Poor | Media Reporter

The reaction to last night’s vice-presidential debate in Danville, Ky. garnered mixed reviews from pundits that largely depended on whether they were espoused on a liberal or conservative outlet. On today’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” the reactions were also mixed, but clearly defined.

According to “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough, the debate was something of a draw, with both candidates doing what they needed to do to advance their running mate’s candidacies. But Scarborough’s co-host Mika Brzezinski was a little less impartial in her analysis, saying Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan had been “ate for dinner and then spit out.”

SCARBOROUGH: Mika, what’s wrong, Mika? You’re being so rude. I think Mika needs to — what do you think?
BRZEZINSKI: Yes. I think Biden just completely trounced him — ate him for dinner and then spit him out on the table like little shriveled piece of something. I don’t know what. I mean, seriously.  It’s kind kind of clear to me.
SCARBOROUGH: I didn’t see that.
BRZEZINSKI: Really? OK. Well, that’s funny because you had very clear opinions after the last debate. But you have very unclear opinions after this one. And I think it might be because you’re a little uncomfortable about it.
WILLIE GEIST: I will say, Mika —
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on. That’s just nonsense. What’s wrong with you?
BRZEZINSKI: How do you think it went?

Scarborough argued that, while both candidates accomplishing what they needed to accomplish, Biden may have hurt his future presidential ambitions.

“I think Joe Biden did what he had to do for his base, and I think Paul Ryan did what he had to do for his base,” Scarborough said. “I think Paul Ryan, and Mark McKinnon said it last night, Paul Ryan held serve when he had to hold serve. And Joe Biden went out and he was John McEnroe throwing the racket, fighting, screaming, yelling at the ref, proving he had heart.”

“Right now the Democratic base needs an excuse to believe — and I think Joe Biden gave that to them last night,” Scarborough said. “I think it was very good for the Democratic ticket. I think in the long run, Mark McKinnon, it wasn’t so good for Joe Biden, if he wants to run for president four years from now.”

Former McCain campaign adviser and self-proclaimed independent Mark McKinnon had a similar view to Scarborough, but added he thought Ryan bolstered his standing in the eyes of independent voters.

“Well, he did his job which was to fire up the base, show some passion,” McKinnon said. “Ryan also did his job by making it clear that he is calm and competent and that he can hold the job and sit in the big chair.”

“The question is what happened for those voters in the middle? And I think in this case, most of those voters have a view or an opinion. They’ve seen Joe Biden. They hadn’t seen Paul Ryan before, and I think they liked what they saw. It was reflected in the polling, in the research after in the groups. The people liked Paul Ryan. They thought he was competent, he was calm and he could handle the job. ”

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