The set of “Morning Joe” was unimpressed with Donald Trump’s primetime Oval Office address to the nation on Tuesday night, with co-host Joe Scarborough telling viewers it was more of the same and that the president would have been better off just delivering it on Fox News.
“Last night, he converted no one. Last night, he made himself look even more inept. Last night, he made himself look even more lost,” Scarborough said. “This was an address that he could have delivered on Fox News primetime and he would have reached his same audience, he would have converted the same number of people, which is zero, because if they were watching him on Fox News in primetime chances are very good they’d already be on his side.”
“And there’s a new Reuters poll out today saying that more Americans are blaming Donald Trump for the shutdown and less Americans support what he’s doing,” he added.
The criticism was broadly in line with Scarborough’s standard critique of Trump that he has offered viewers since the billionaire was elected president in 2016.
On Tuesday, the president made his case from the Oval Office about the need for tough immigration reform and for a wall along the Mexican border. Funding for the long promised barrier is currently at the center of a government shutdown, which is now in its third week. Trump has demanded Congress allocate more than $5 billion for the project. House Democrats have refused, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling the wall an “immorality.”
The project also went unfunded during the two years of unified Republican government on the hill as well.
“Every day, Customs and Border Patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We are out of space to hold them, and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country,” Trump said. “All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African Americans and Hispanic Americans.”
The speech offered little that the public hasn’t heard before from Trump on the subject. Reports also emerged Tuesday saying the president didn’t even want to do it, telling reporters during an off-the-record lunch that he only agreed after being pressured into it by advisers.