Joe Scarborough doesn’t get much pushback on his own turf, but the MSNBC host found himself getting fact-checked Monday morning after he misquoted something Attorney General Eric Holder said over the weekend.
Scarborough didn’t have any qualms with Holder’s dismissal of Sarah Palin’s impeachment talk, saying “no major conservative” backs the fringe proposal. But the “Morning Joe” namesake cried foul at the attorney general’s characterization of the Obama administration’s fiercest critics.
“He once again went back to race and said the reason Barack Obama’s been picked on is because of his race,” said Scarborough, who frequently criticizes Obama’s defenders for playing the “race card.”
“That’s very interesting for a man who worked in the Clinton administration and saw the abuse that Bill Clinton faced. And certainly, I don’t think he moved to the south of France during the George W. Bush’s administration. Bush also, of course, got absolutely smashed and torn to shreds for eight years by Democrats. But of course, Democrats don’t realize that because they were the ones doing it.”
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson politely told the host that Holder didn’t really say that.
“Yeah, but Joe, that’s not actually what he said though. He said he thought that race was a factor — not a major factor — but a factor in some of the over-the-top criticism of President Obama,” Robinson said. “So, that’s different from saying, you know, the only reason people criticize the President is because of race. I thought he was measured, if you read the entire quote.”
Robinson was right. Either Scarborough didn’t really read the entire quote or he woefully misinterpreted Holder’s words.
The comment in question came during the attorney general’s appearance Sunday on ABC’s “The Week.” Here’s ABC’s write-up:
“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder said. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. … There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.”
Never eager to admit that he’s wrong, Scarborough responded to Robinson’s fact-check by basically saying that the two could “agree to disagree.”
“Well, we’ve actually had this debate before, Gene,” Scarborough said, possibly referring to their on-air debate in May over the racial motivations of Obamacare critics. “We’ll move along.”