On Thursday’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough offered up his “defense” of Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who has come under intense political scrutiny for leading the charge into government shutdown.
“This will surprise quite a few people,” Scarborough led off, “but I want to, for one moment, stand in defense of Ted Cruz and this idea that somehow this is all Ted Cruz’s fault.” If there were a “Democratic Ted Cruz” who tried the same thing in the 1980s, the MSNBC host asserted, “he would have been squashed like a little bug” by Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill.
“If someone had done this to Nancy Pelosi,” he added, “they would have been pounded.”
And so Scarborough’s point? “There is a void of Republican leadership here in the House that didn’t stand up and take charge and take control.”
“There’s no such thing as leadership now with that Tea Party caucus,” Bloomberg‘s Al Hunt chimed in. “These people just don’t worry about leadership.”
“No one stood up on the Republican side and said [to Cruz],” Scarborough said, “‘You know what, that’s a horrible idea. We tried that in 1995. We got killed and re-elected Bill Clinton.’”
“‘That’s cute, honey,’” co-host Mika Brzezinski added, “‘Now sit down.’”