Joe Scarborough and the rest of his “Morning Joe” panel blasted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s response to Thursday’s snowstorm, with the MSNBC host and questioning whether the newly-inaugurated mayor can even handle “basic governance.”
Scarborough and company were discussing the mayor’s decision to keep New York City schools open Thursday, despite a large snowstorm dumping nearly nine inches of snow on the region. Local meteorologists, chief among them Al Roker of NBC’s “Today” show, attacked de Blasio for his decision on Twitter, and the mayor’s office cut the school day short — further infuriating parents forced to pick up their kids hours after slogging through snow to get them there.
Roker’s criticisms seemed to have struck a nerve, because de Blasio responded personally at a press conference Thursday. “I respect Al Roker a lot, watched him on TV for many, many years,” he said. “It’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV. So [laughing] I am comfortable with our decision-making.”
The mayor blamed a National Weather Service forecast that underestimated the impact. But Scarborough and others weren’t buying it.
Scarborough wondered why de Blasio decided to go after Roker in such a public way.
“Never punch down,” he advised. “If the attack against you is on TV, then respond on TV. If it’s on the radio, respond on the radio. But God, don’t respond to attacks on Twitter! If you’re a public official that’s absolutely ridiculous!”
“When they held that press conference, they must’ve thought we all had a short memory,” he continued. “Bill de Blasio said that the storm moved faster and was much harder than they ever expected, which is ridiculous.”
“This wasn’t unpredictable,” he told MSNBC weatherman Bill Karins. “You told us exactly what happened, and I know all of us made our decisions based on your forecast. And your forecast said, ‘Stay inside. This one’s gonna move fast, it’s gonna be hard. Stay home.’”
All told, de Blasio’s decision-making left Scarborough wondering if the mayor was up to the challenge.
“John Lennon said, ‘Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans,’” he told NBC’s David Gregory. “That’s kind of what happens to politicians. They have all of these great ideas. And then a question of basic governance comes along and it can really through anybody, especially a newcomer, for a loop.”
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