When The Huffington Post’s Ben Stein tried to distance Hillary Clinton from the 2008 campaign polling on then-candidate Obama’s drug use and ties to the Muslim faith, “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough brought Stein back to reality.
He wouldn’t hear of it.
MSNBC clip via The Washington Free Beacon
Wikileaks released 2008 emails late last week of then-Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, Clinton pollster Tom Matzzie, political consultant and former advisor to President Bill Clinton Paul Begala discussing what could stop an Obama path to the White House, including his drug use and Muslim parentage.
Stein tried to pass the polling off as solely the work of Progressive Media USA, with no connection to the Clinton campaign.
The MSNBC host interrupted at that point.
“Come on, Sam. It was in the heat of an ugly, ugly campaign,” Scarborough said. “This is even before racism charges started being leveled between the two campaigns.”
Stein repeated his defense of the Clinton campaign, but it wasn’t working.
“Would it be safe to say that Paul Begala and John Podesta were not talking about Barack Obama and his Muslim ties for the benefit of a general election campaign against Mitt Romney in the midst of a nasty fight?” Scarborough asked Stein.
Stein re-wrote history at that point and claimed that there was little rancor between the Clinton and Obama camp, and that the 2008 Democratic primary was “a fairly mundane campaign operation.”
“No they weren’t! No they weren’t!” Scarborough shot back. “In January of 2008 Paul Begala was not asking about Barack Obama’s Muslim identity because he was concerned about a November election against Mitt Romney.”
“The idea was to see if he would be a vulnerable general election candidate and pushed that narrative,” Stein said.
“Sam, are you really being, are you saying this with a straight face?” Scarborough asked. “Did they teach you this at Dartmouth to say this with a straight face?”
He added that the actual poll was conducted by an outside source was “a distinction without a difference in the midst of one of the ugliest Democratic battles in recent memory.”
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