“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough blasted Democratic Sen. [crscore]Claire McCaskill[/crscore] for pretending to favor political civility and then insulting her opponents.
“Every single statement you make is filled with a barb and an insult,” he said.
Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” McCaskill criticized Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski for their interview with Charles and David Koch.
The conversation began with the conservative Scarborough commenting on Hillary Clinton saying during a debate that Republicans are among her top enemies.
“You would never hear me say in this poisonous environment say that the proudest I had of having enemies would be Democrats,” Scarborough said. “I always talk about my best friends in Washington, still to this day are Democrats.” (RELATED: The Enemy Hillary’s Most Proud Of? ‘Republicans’ [VIDEO])
McCaskill responded, “Well, she doesn’t say that on the campaign trail. She said it as an aside with a big smile on her face in a moment in the debate. And to capture that and to decide we are going to blow it out of proportion and believe me –”
Scarborough interjected, “I’m not blowing it out of proportion. I’m just saying it’s a sign of a bigger problem.”
McCaskill retorted, “And you and I agree on the problem, but with all due respect, there’s a lot of people that buy into this notion that we’ve got to constantly have conflict. Conflict is more exciting for people to watch and listen to than people sitting around a table negotiating a compromise.”
Scarborough then said, “I actually think great conversation, like the type we usually have is — again, we disagree on and I think three or four different things. But I will tell you what I’ve always found is you know, and you and I had a back and forth with Mika about our interview with the Koch brothers. And you thought we were too easy on them.”
Then brought up his 2008 interview with Clinton, saying, “I had such a nice, positive conversation with Hillary every time that she came on, I felt compelled to apologize to Tim Russert. I said, ‘That is not exactly a tough interview, maybe it was too easy on her.’ And he said, ‘No, that was fascinating. By actually having a conversation with Hillary Clinton you have just gotten more out of her than anybody else has the entire election.’ And people want that.”
“I think that’s all fair, Joe,” McCaskill said. “I think there was a lot of angst out there that for the first time that these guys who behind the scenes have been pulling the levers on the wrecking ball to our democracy when it comes to Citizens United —”
Scarborough interrupted, “Boy, that’s not going to a corner is it, Claire? … Listen, Claire, if you’re gonna talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk and not demonize them.”
McCaskill then attempted to talk over Scarborough when she claimed, “I’ve watched them do it. I’m not demonizing them. I’m stating the facts.”
Scarborough kept talking and insisted, “I could say the same things about” Richard Trumka, the AFL-CIO president, “and what the unions do with Republicans and the nasty things they say. You Democrats had an ad about [crscore]Paul Ryan[/crscore] pushing a grandmother over a cliff. Guess, what, that’s politics, OK.”
McCaskill insisted that she doesn’t condone that behavior, but she was trying to “explain to you why there was some angst.”
Regarding the Kochs, “These guys have spent millions of dollars behind a curtain, against a lot of candidates, and I’m not aware of any candidate that supports gay marriage that they’ve supported, not one. So I guess I was just saying that finally these guys are being interviewed and we have this all, like probably unrealistic expectation that they would be asked some questions about what they’ve been up to.”
Scarborough then ranted, “Hold on a second. You know, Claire, I’m going to say I’m going to take exception at this point. You keep talking about wanting to have a civil conversation. I invite you to reprint the text of what you have said today and every single statement you make is filled with a barb and an insult. In your last answer, you just said, ‘I guess some people have the unrealistic expectation that they would actually be asked questions and pushed.’ Mika pushed them.”