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Can an MSNBC host run in a Republican presidential primary?

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Could an MSNBC host be considering exchanging his seat on the “Morning Joe” program for a run  for the presidency?

Photo: Daily Caller

According to a Daily Caller report Monday, he’s thinking about it.

The suggestion arose last week when Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol was on “Morning Joe,” projecting nine names he expects to see on the stage after Labor Day 2015 contending for the Republican nomination for president.

Kristol listed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Indiana Gov.  Mike Pence, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

He surprised everyone with his final name: “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough.

While Scarborough mostly demurred – and co-host Mika Brzezinski was curious– Kristol explained part of his reasoning. Scarborough, he said laughing, could fill the “Jon Huntsman lane.”

Since Huntsman’s lane in the 2012 GOP primary turned out to be fairly narrow, Kristol clearly wasn’t envisioning a serious effort. But then again, nobody was talking about Herman Cain for president in 2010.

(And if Cain, whose career included a time as CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, can grow a presidential bid from a restaurant chain few Americans outside of Nebraska and Omaha have been to,  Scarborough can do the same thing with a network few Americans outside D.C. and New York actually watch.)

Kristol might have been laughing when he made the suggestion, but not all Scarborough’s friends are.

“I definitely wouldn’t fall in the laughing category,” one told the Daily Caller. “I think it’s a very wide open field. He’s an articulate spokesperson for conservatives. No doubt about it.”

But what about the MSNBC problem? The network of Rachel Maddows, Chris Matthew and Al Sharpton, among other worthies. How would that play in a GOP primary?

“Now, realistically, his MSNBC association and some of his positions could kill him in the crib,”  GOP strategist and frequent “Morning Joe” guest Mark McKinnon told the DC’s Alex Pappas, while noting that Scarborough’s more conservative personally than most viewers suspect.

“And professionally and economically, it could be just this side of crazy. But no one ever accused him of playing things safe.”

Check out the video from Kristol’s interview here.



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