MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough is the latest commentator to give President Barack Obama a victory in last night’s debate, which is certainly nothing unusual for his network.
On Wednesday’s broadcast of “Morning Joe,” Scarborough said Republican nominee Mitt Romney made two major mistakes: He was too aggressive with the moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, and he was too aggressive with Obama.
“The first 20 minutes of the [debate], what stood out to me was the fact that this was a format, like we said yesterday, that really didn’t play to Mitt Romney’s strength,” Scarborough said. “He came on way too strong. One thing that all challengers should be aware of — if you’re going to be running for president of the United States, there are two things you don’t do in debates. One, you don’t run over a female moderator, you just don’t. Stylistically you don’t. It’s very dangerous. Jim Lehrer, fine — you can get out a knife and, you know, have a knife fight with Jim Lehrer. But you don’t do that with a female moderator. It’s problematic.”
According to Scarborough, Romney’s efforts to use the same tack he used in the GOP primary debates were not as effective in the town hall format.
“Secondly, you don’t run over the president of the United States, whether that president’s a Republican or whether that president is a Democrat,” Scarborough said. “There are independent voters who believe that a president should be treated with deference because he is the commander in chief … and the Mitt Romney that we saw yesterday was the Mitt Romney who was very successful in cutting off Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry and Herman Cain when the stakes were far lower. And it took him about 20 minutes to figure out that he just couldn’t be that much of a bulldozer.”
Scarborough added that Romney blew his one opportunity to hit Obama at his weakest vulnerability — the handling of Benghazi terror attack.
“The big question, though, that I think most Republicans looked at as Mitt Romney’s missed opportunity — the moment where he had a chance to turn the debate around and sprint to the finish line, and at least call it a draw was his answer to the Libya question, which was just absolutely stunned at how badly he did,” Scarborough said. “I saw Charles Krauthammer say the same thing, Laura Ingraham, several other conservatives said, ‘Well yeah, he lost the debate on points,’ and in large part, it’s because he botched the answer to a question that referred to — it was a toss-up. In fact, some of us thought that the question was planted where the biggest scandal, I think foreign policy scandal in the Obama administration’s four years was brought up, and Mitt Romney botched it.”