Scarborough has low regard for Rick Perry — criticizes accent, religion and gunmanship

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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The political media world is abuzz over the forthcoming announcement of Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entry into the 2012 GOP presidential nomination contest. But not every Republican is sold on the notion of a Perry candidacy.

On Thursday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough put his skepticism of Perry the presidential candidate on display for viewers, questioning if that is what America really wants.

“What do you think – Rick Perry?” Scarborough said. “Maybe I’ve got a total blind spot on guys that look like Josh Brolin imitating George W. Bush. Maybe that’s what America wants in 2011-2012. Maybe it’s just me.”

But Scarborough’s critique didn’t stop with his accent and demeanor, but also his openness with religion – particularly last weekend’s prayer rally he hosted in Houston.

“And, Jon Meacham, he had this prayer get together in Texas because, of course, we know that Jesus said that when you pray, go to the largest auditorium as possible and let people take images of you praying so they will think you’re a holy man,” Scarborough said. “Oh, wait a second – I think the actual quote is Jesus said go into a closet and pray, unlike the hypocrites who pray on the street corner for all the world to see, something like that. Did I get that right? Is that what Jesus said?”

Scarborough also took a jab at Perry for boasting of killing a coyote in 2010. But, later in his program talking to his guest Republican New York Rep. Peter King, the former Florida congressman asked King if he thought Perry could succeed electorally in King’s district.

“So there’s Rick Perry – a picture of Rick Perry here,” Scarborough said. “We’ll get the lighting a little better. There we go – praying, praying to Jesus in front of many political supporters as humanly possible. I’m just wondering Peter King, how is that going to play out on Long Island when the swing voters come next November, does that work?”

And Scarborough made it clear – he didn’t like Perry’s chances in particular swing districts.

“I will tell you – I’d do a hell of a lot better on Long Island than Rick Perry,” Scarborough said.

King warned Scarborough of it backfiring when people in mainstream media make fun of people who prayed, and said not to discount Perry. But Scarborough doubted the ability of the more socially conservative candidate to win a so-called swing district.

“I just have to ask, though, again, the question is, is the Republican Party going to nominate somebody who can win, who can win in swing districts on Long Island, who can win in Bucks County, Penn., who can win on the I-4 corridor, or are they going to nominate people like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann who will not win a general election?”

But King reminded Scarborough that when Perry faced a challenge in the Republican Primary against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a more moderate Republican politician in 2010, he soundly defeated her by nearly a two-to-one margin.