In an interview with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network that aired on Tuesday, MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host and former Republican Florida congressman Joe Scarborough sounded off on a number of conservative figures he has criticized and has been criticized by over the past several years.
Scarborough claimed to be friends with Rush Limbaugh and a habitual visitor to Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report. But he seemed to dismiss others, including Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, when Brody asked for his thoughts on them.
“I’m friends with Rush,” Scarborough said. “I don’t know Matt, but nobody knows Matt. But I go to the Drudge Report every morning. It’s just this habit I’ve been in since 1998. But a lot of these talk radio guys — they’re copies. They’re carbon copies of Rush. Rush made a lot of money. They decided they were going to copy Rush. And most of these guys couldn’t get elected dog catcher. They just couldn’t. But this is important and conservatives need to understand this — I don’t knock them. They’ve got a great business model, all right? They speak to the most intense segment of the conservative movement. They make a lot of money because of it.”
Scarborough went on to say there had to be a distinction drawn between popular conservative media figures and what will win elections.
“Getting a big audience on radio and winning elections those are two completely different things,” Scarborough continued. “You’ve got to reach out to different people. The swing voters, as I said before, in the Philly suburbs, in the I-4 corridor, the swing voters who voted for Barack Obama twice but voted for George W. Bush twice and then voted for Bill Clinton twice and then voted for Ronald Reagan twice — those aren’t people that are watching or listening to these ideologically charged programs.”
Scarborough said one weakness of the conservative talkers is that they are not in tune with presidential candidates who fail to win elections. “Those people are preaching to the converted,” he said. “They’re preaching to the choir, and that’s fine, because guess what? A lot of people like listening to Rush, a lot of people love listening to Sean, a lot of people love listening to Mark Levin. And that’s their right, just like a lot of people like watching Rachel Maddow and a lot of people like watching people on MSNBC. We just can’t confuse entertainment, political entertainment with what draws people to the polls because, it is important to remember, the last two GOP nominees — Mitt Romney and John McCain in 2008 — none of those guys supported either of those candidates up front. I think Hugh Hewitt supported Mitt Romney from the beginning, but Hugh was in the minority.”