The two co-hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” got into a tussle over President Barack Obama’s less-than-stellar response to the dangers of radical Islam following the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, and the rhetoric displayed afterwards.
Mika Brzezinski accused Republican presidential candidates engaging in fear-mongering and said some “are just capitalizing on fear.”
When author Kristen Soltis Anderson countered that the president did everything he could to downplay credible danger, Brzezinski sided with Obama, saying that the real danger is guns — not terrorism.
“I would argue that in this century our biggest problem to everybody’s safety is guns compared to terrorism — would anybody disagree?” she asked the panel.
Co-host Joe Scarborough’s hackles rose.
“I sat back politely and you had to keep pushing me, didn’t you?” he said. “Yes, there is fear. And a lot of the fear comes from the fact that the president of the United States has shown an astonishing lack of leadership and when the president talks about everything but terror, that’s a problem. When you say the problem is guns in America, that’s not the truth.”
When asked about the president’s response to terrorism, Scarborough brought up his apparent disconnect to the subject.
“We’re talking about terrorism, he’s talking — and you’re talking — about guns. We’re talking about ISIS, he’s talking — and you’re talking — about a refugee crisis,” he said.
“It’s always ‘distract’ and ‘change from’ the fact that this president has gotten it wrong about ISIS from the beginning!” Scarborough added. Scarborough brought everything to a stop when he asked his co-host to clarify her statemenmts on fear-mongering.
Scarborough: “Did I say something that stirred up fear, Mika? Please don’t suggest that I did.”
Brzezinski: “I’m not. I’m saying that you’re tapping into something that really cuts through with people. And if you look at —
Scarborough: “I’m not trying to tap into something! Wait, are you suggesting that I’m playing on people’s fears?”
Watch the exchange, via MSNBC.
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