“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough’s stance on Kevin McCarthy’s failed House speaker election has evolved from blasé to humored to strategic since Tuesday. And Friday morning’s “sermon,” as Scarborough called it, had him going to bat for the embattled politician and offering him straight, fluff-free advice. It was a harsh – but honest – come-to-Jesus.
“This weakness; this negotiating against yourself; this shuttle diplomacy – when you stay up all night and then they come out and talk to the press and tell you to go to Hell? Just stop,” Scarborough said in exasperation. “Kevin, this is for you: You want this job too much. You’ve wanted this job too much for too long. It makes you weak.”
Sitting beside co-host Mika Brzezinski, Scarborough then admitted that he might “offend my viewers” with the comparison, but he drew a line to what he viewed as the weakness of the Iranian Nuclear Deal in 2015.
“Let me offend my viewers: It’s just like what I said about the Iranian Nuclear Deal,” Scarborough said. “They wanted the deal too much. My good friend John Kerry wanted the deal too much; President Obama wanted the deal too much. So they negotiated from a position of weakness.”
That’s exactly what the morning show host sees McCarthy doing now. Instead, he thinks the House speaker hopeful should tell the far-right Republican outliers voting against him to “go to Hell.”
“Now let’s take it all the way back here [to McCarthy]: You want this speakership too much,” Scarborough said. “Too much to tell them to go to Hell and let the world come to you. Sit there with your 200 members and let it come to you. You gotta stop giving up all these concessions. You gotta tell them we’re back at square one and you have none of that until you can deliver me 218 votes and if you all can’t deliver me 218 votes don’t waste my time. I will sit on this floor with my 200 friends and we will sit here and keep voting until Hell freezes over.”
Scarborough added that he should leave to those outliers to bear the burden of wrecking their own party’s position of power. He wants McCarthy to tell them, “You want to wreck the Republican Party, if you want to wreck the country, all right, fantastic, you do it. It’s on your shoulders, not ours.”
“And that’s the sermon for today,” adding that the whole situation is “so weak and pathetic.”
Watch the full “Morning Joe” segment in the video above.