MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough said Friday that South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham “was right” about former President Donald Trump’s dominance in the party.
Scarborough quoted Graham’s 2016 claim that “if the Republican Party nominates Donald Trump, they will destroy themselves and they will deserve it.” The “Morning Joe” host agreed with Graham’s position that Trump has a stranglehold on the party and cannot be defeated by a large pool of potential candidates.
“Lindsey Graham was right then, Lindsey Graham is right now,” Scarborough said. Graham ran for president in 2016 but suspended his campaign after failing to gather significant support. On Tuesday, he endorsed Trump’s 2024 campaign during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“I don’t right now see anybody in the field that can beat Donald Trump one on one if Donald Trump decides to run. [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis certainly can’t do that if a Florida high school association is going around following his lead tracking the menstrual cycles of young women and these other crazy things,” Scarborough continued. “He’s gonna get outside of Florida and people are gonna be like thanks, no thanks, Ronny, go home. I don’t see anybody who can beat Donald Trump and yet if somebody does beat Donald Trump, he’s gonna run as an independent.”
Scarborough referred to reports that the Florida High School Athletics Association (FHSAA) had crafted a new physical evaluation form that asks student athletes to answer basic questions about their menstrual cycle, including if the person menstruates and when they had their first period.
“Who can beat Donald Trump in the Republican Party right now?” Scarborough asked former White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
Psaki said DeSantis is potentially the “best bet” for the Republican Party to defeat Trump in the 2024 primary. She argued that defeating the former president would be difficult, especially in a crowded field. (RELATED: Scarborough Says DeSantis ‘Does Not Want To Cross’ Trump In 2024 Primary)
“The more people that are in the Republican primary who think Donald Trump is weak, who think they can beat him, the better it is for Donald Trump. Because he has this hardcore base of support that seems unshakable at this point. Let’s see,” Psaki added. “So the more of them fighting against each other, the better for him.”
“I agree with you on Ron DeSantis and his insanity,” Psaki added. “That is very hard in a general election, I don’t know if that’s impossible in a primary and if it’s just DeSantis and Trump, I don’t know, maybe, that’s probably about the best bet the Republican Party has to take him out.”
A handful of polls have found DeSantis leading Trump in a potential primary race. A poll conducted by the Wall Street Journal in December found the Florida governor leading Trump 52 percent to 38 percent if the election were currently that day. Another survey by WPAi Intelligence on behalf of Club for Growth Action found DeSantis beating Trump in New Hampshire, Iowa, Florida and Georgia.