Economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough renewed their rivalry on Monday in a spirited debate on “Charlie Rose.”
As expected, the debate served as a striking contrast between the liberal Krugman, who has maintained that paying off the debt is not a pressing priority, and Scarborough, a conservative deficit hawk.
But before the episode even aired, Krugman took to his blog at the Times to concede that he wasn’t at his best. Indeed, Scarborough was on the offensive throughout the interview, repeatedly bringing up previous statements made by the Nobel Prize winner. Krugman countered the former congressman by insisting that circumstances, as well as his own worldview, have changed.
“This is what you said in 2005, Medicare and Medicaid are going to sharply increase the deficit in 2010,” Scarborough said. “The deficit might well exceed 8 percent of GDP sometime in the next decade. That’s a deficit that will make Argentina look like a model of responsibility.”
“Well, I’ve learned a few things since then too,” Krugman responded.
At one point, Krugman expressed disappointment at his sparring partner’s approach, what he described on his blog as Scarborough’s “blizzard of misleading factoids and diversionary stuff.”
“Joe, this is — this is so disappointing,” Krugman said on the program.
“It is. It is disappointing,” Scarborough said.
“It’s so disappointing if all you can do is ad hominem and say, oh, you said this, and you were — you know, pull out the ad hominem,” Krugman argued.
“Anybody that knows me knows I don’t engage in ad hominem attacks,” Scarborough fired back.
MSNBC compiled a package of highlights from the interview. Watch a clip from the episode: