Democratic New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney challenged Joe Scarborough directly, accusing him Friday of pushing Republican talking points on defunding the police.
Maloney accused Scarborough of “ranting” when he asked several times whether Democrats would embrace calls to defund the police going into the 2022 midterm elections. (RELATED: ‘I’m Sorry If Politicians Are Scared Of Teacher’s Unions’: Joe Scarborough Goes Off On School Re-Opening Pushback)
“Do Democrats support defunding the police, first of all, and secondly, the Cook Political Report said Democrats lost 25 of 25 contested House races in 2020. And I think most analyses believe at least in the House races, Democrats badly underperformed expectations,” Scarborough began. “So address those two and, again, if you could specifically answer the question, again, it’s not the question that I’m asking. It’s the question that Republicans will continue to ask, do Democrats support defunding the police?”
“Right. The answer is no. And you are asking the question and you’re repeating a Republican talking point for reasons I don’t know,” Maloney replied.
“No, no, let — no, let me tell you why —” Scarborough pushed back.
“Excuse me. I’m trying to answer your question,” Maloney protested.
Scarborough kept pushing, saying that he was forced to repeat questions because Democrats had done such a poor job of answering questions about socialism, cancel culture and other major issues.
“That’s why I’m repeating it because if you believe that Kevin McCarthy should be Speaker of the House, keep pretending that none of that happened and keep saying that the House did a good job in 2020 because they did not. House Democrats did a poor job,” Scarborough insisted. “So my question is are you going into 2022 with eyes wide open?”
“Right. So as my friend Maxine Waters said to Jim Jordan, you’re ranting again,” Maloney said. (RELATED: ‘Respect The Chair And Shut Your Mouth’: Maxine Waters Interrupts Tense Exchange With Dr. Fauci To Scold Jim Jordan)
“If you don’t really care whether Democrats win or not in 2022, okay,” Scarborough shot back. “Let our viewers know that.”
“Yeah, that’s what I said. How about you let me answer the question?” Maloney continued. “The answer to the question is Kevin McCarthy is the Minority Leader and we hold the gavels, Joe … That’s what winning looks like. Can we learn from 2020? You bet. You didn’t hear me say everything went well. What I told you is I’m not going to run the other way because on shows like this you insist on repeating these Republican talking points when you know it’s a lie that we don’t want to defund the police.”
Scarborough agreed that it was a lie, saying that his intent was not to repeat or amplify lies but to ask whether Democrats would be prepared to counter them in 2022.
“I’m calling them lies and I’m curious — as are a lot of Democrats and a lot of Democratic activists and a lot of Democratic donors — if Democrats are going to be able to stop Kevin McCarthy from being the next Speaker of the House,” he said.
Maloney continued to push back, saying that Democrats were absolutely prepared for the 2022 midterms.
“We are responsible adults delivering good government and economic growth and they are a party wrapped around the axle of some very dangerous and irresponsible elements. But I’m not going to stand here and kick around some stupid Republican lie about our fight for racial justice as though it’s worth talking about,” he concluded.