On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, former Florida Republican Rep. Joe Scarborough castigated Vice President Joe Biden for his Thursday speech to the NAACP in Houston.
At the top of his program Scarborough suggested the vice president went a little overboard with his warning about the rights of African-Americans being threatened by the Republican Party.
“I love Joe Biden, but seriously you would think Bull Connor were on the ticket for the Republican Party in 2012,” Scarborough said. “This is crazy. I will say… whatever. The great thing about Joe Biden is he is at least self-aware, right? He said, I’m preaching to the choir. He was preaching to the choir. I expected everything — I mean the next thing was they’re releasing the hounds in the streets of Birmingham, I mean the hounds. Come on. Seriously? It ain’t 1963.”
However, former DNC chairman Howard Dean disagreed and argued that Biden was spot on, and added that at this rate he wouldn’t be surprised to see the likes of Bull Connor on the GOP ticket.
“The guy is on fire,” Dean said. “He connects with the base and he connects with white working class people which Obama has trouble with. He’s fantastic. And that was a great speech by Joe Biden. He raises all the issues, after listening to him, I wouldn’t be surprised Joe, if we did see Bull Connor on the ticket. He’s still up for the vice presidency, right?”
That drew the ire of both Scarborough and former RNC chairman Michael Steele. Scarborough reacted by saying that the Biden speech presented “false choices.”
“I just want to challenge one thing, Howard,” Scarborough said. “I agree, he certainly connects with the base. He connects with African-American voters. He connects with white working-class, blue collar voters. We love Joe. That’s why we love Joe. At the same time, a speech like this, though, often gets white working-class voters rolling their eyes, saying ‘come on, man,’ as Joe Biden says to himself, ‘Come on, man, this ain’t 1963.’ And don’t try to paint false choices.”
Steele had a visceral reaction to Biden and asked what exactly the federal government has done under the leadership of President Barack Obama and Biden to better the black community.
“You know, quite frankly, I’m sick of it. It’s just a load of crap at this point. I’m so tired of this every election cycle, ‘Oh we’re going to roll back the clock, Republicans are going to turn back the clock,’” Steele said. “You know, you look at the plight of the black community. It’s not a question of rolling back the clock. The clock has stopped. And this administration is faced with 14.4 percent unemployment within the black community and it’s not addressed effectively, not addressed the recidivism rate, drug addiction rate, AIDS infection rates. He hasn’t addressed the systemic issues with respect to those things that were talked about earlier in his administration that he would handle or at least begin to address within the black community.”
“So then to have Joe Biden roll up into the NAACP — you’re right, you’re preaching to the choir and same old nonsense looking backwards,” Steele added. “Tell us how you’re going to address the current problems that are affecting this community. Don’t worry so much about Mitt Romney. He had his moment and he took his lumps for that. Now tell us, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, what is the black community look like four years from now if given another four years to address some of the very issues that you, you know, talk about rolling back the clock on? So for me it was just a bunch of noise and I’m tired of hearing it.”