Joe Scarborough: 'I Don't Close the Door' to 2016 Run
Friday, 14 Mar 2014 03:58 PM
By Bill Hoffmann
Joe Scarborough is not saying just yet whether he'll make a run at the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, although he's toying with the idea.
"I don't close the door to anything.... I have said for some time I was going to get back into public service at some point. I love what I'm doing right now, but I absolutely loved being a member of Congress," MSNBC's "Morning Joe" star told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"So there's the possibility that I'll get in on some level. People have asked me to run for Senate for years now and some people have talked about running for president.
"But any decision I make it going to be based on what is best for the party and what is best for the country.... It'll be because there aren't Republicans out there that can do what needs to be done and right now our No. 1 goal when we get past 2014 is making sure that another Clinton's not in the White House for eight years."
Scarborough, a former Republican congressman who represented Florida's first district from 1995-2001, added that he is impressed with such potential GOP presidential candidates as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is down for the count for now.
"Chris Christie right now is in a political state of limbo. I'm a big fan of Chris, I'm a friend of Chris, and Chris understands like everybody understands that … we're going to see how the investigations play out," Scarborough said, referring to the Bridge-gate scandal in which Christie's top aides masterminded a four-day traffic jam for political revenge.
"The guy's innocent and didn't know what was going on but we can't even talk about Chris Christie running for president until we have all those — some very politically motivated — investigations concluded and we see what he knew and when he knew it. I have confidence in him."
CNN's Jake Tapper flippantly dismissed Scarborough as a possible candidate during a recent on-air discussion about the 2016 presidential race — then made an urgent call to Scarborough to explain the brush off, Newsmax has learned.
The call came after Tapper said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio program that he wouldn't count anybody out as a potential candidate for the White House and specifically mentioned Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Christie.
But when asked about Scarborough, Tapper paused and said, "That I would dismiss," as others on the show were heard chuckling.
But Scarborough told Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg that Tapper apparently had second thoughts and wasted no time in calling him to make peace.
"Jake reached out to me after that and he said, 'Hey, listen, they didn't ask the follow-up question,"' Scarborough said.
'''Which is you said you're making way too much money, you've got way too much power on your show, there's no way that you would quit that to run for president and slog around Iowa and New Hampshire.'
"Jake may be underestimating my love for public service, but, no, Jake called up to make sure that I understood what his intentions were and, actually, he said he was going to go back on Hugh's show and correct it."
Scarborough doesn't believe in term limits for presidents.
"It's stupid that in our country some of the best qualified people can't run. George W. Bush ought to be able to run again, Bill Clinton should be able to run again," Scarborough said.
"The fact is, after eight years and after all of his screw-ups and after all of his excesses, Bill Clinton spent the past five, 10 years flying around the world and has actually learned more and he got elected as a pretty young guy and I'll tell you what, I would have much rather had him run in 2008 and 2012 than Barack Obama.
"As far as Hillary Clinton goes, I was also very clear I didn't support Hillary's politics, but I had great respect for the fact that she was able to keep competing against Barack Obama despite the fact that the liberal media totally sold out for Barack Obama and, actually, were extraordinarily biased against her."