For those who predicted it would only take Donald Trump reading a speech from a teleprompter, regardless of how batshit crazy and wildly inaccurate the content was, for Joe Scarborough to get right back on the Trump Train, give yourself a gold star today.
After spending weeks excoriating the presumptive GOP nominee for being a racist shitbag who is bringing the Republican Party down with him, the Morning Joe host suddenly reversed course Thursday morning, claiming Trump made “the pivot” with his Wednesday speech aimed at Hillary Clinton. It didn’t matter that fact-checkers ridiculed the real estate mogul’s prepared remarks, or that the bulk of the speech was more blithering nonsense culled from outlandish conspiracy theories. Nope, it just mattered that the short-fingered vulgarian delivered it in the proper tone and didn’t use the word ‘bigly.’
During a panel discussion, JoeScar went off on one of his trademarked bloviations, claiming that not only was Trump pivoting to the general election with speech, but he was appealing to Bernie Sanders supporters by calling for more government spending on infrastructure.
“That’s called the pivot. He was talking to Bernie supporters, saying, ‘You’ve been let down. These trade deals have let us down. I’m going to bring about a new industrial age. I’m going to bring jobs back to America. And yes, I will use the power of government to do that.’ There are a hell of a lot of Bernie supporters, there are a hell of a lot of people from Wisconsin, all the way through Michigan, through Ohio, through Pennsylvania, who say that’s a message.
You look at a Pew poll we’re going to be talking about in a little bit, Willie Geist, and Americans are more divided now than ever before. Those people, those Republicans, they’re going to vote for Trump if he shows them that he’s sane. He can afford to move to the center and talk about rebuilding roads, rebuilding infrastructure, rebuilding America, bringing jobs back to America and actually start stealing Democratic votes. That’s at least a theory of the case and it’s been working now for him for about 12 hours. It’s a long way to go. Nobody is overselling this. We’re simply stating what happened yesterday, which is our job.”
I love that Joe says that no one is overselling the speech, while he’s overselling it. It is obvious that Joe was just itching to jump back on board, and all he needed to see was some semblance of normalcy from Trump. The fact that the Orange One was able to read from a script without spiking himself was good enough for Joe.
The thing is, Scarborough probably doesn’t ‘support’ Trump as a candidate. However, as a cable news talking head, he does support ratings. And a close horse race this election will keep viewers tuned in all summer and fall. If he can convince viewers that the race is tight, and Trump can pull it out — with the help of a selective poll here and there — then he can justify talking about Trump in a positive manner more and more. Hell, maybe the Trumpster will even call in for interviews again!
However, it may take his colleagues some more convincing. In response to Joe’s embrace of the speech, co-host Willie Geist said that they were holding Trump to a different standard and grading him on a curve.
“And that’s why I said at the top it’s a sliding scale. We’re grading Trump on a curve. We’ll see if he can maintain this. He had some discipline yesterday. We’ll see if he can maintain it for the next 12 hours.”
In other words, we’re giving him an ‘A’ because he didn’t shit on himself. Maybe we should take a step back and remember that we’ve been here before (i.e. overpraising him for acting semi-normal) and every single time he’s shown his true colors.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of MSNBC:
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) June 23, 2016