Joe Scarborough has some advice for Republicans running for president: stop trying to be Donald Trump. According to the MSNBC host, the strategy he used to win in 2016 is “never gonna work again.”
Scarborough’s advice came on Friday’s episode of “Morning Joe,” as he and his colleagues discussed someone who “really kind of modeled herself after the Trump blueprint,” Kari Lake. The former Arizona gubernatorial candidate — who, like Trump, lost her election and then baselessly claimed for months that the election rigged and she actually did win — is facing a new lawsuit in Maricopa County for defamation of an election official.
In discussing Lake, Scarborough noted that just about everyone he ever talked to about her during campaign season thought she was incredibly skilled, and added that “if she was a mainstream Republican,” she could’ve won. So he offered some guidance to others.
“I’ll say it again, anybody who’s listening; this is a game of addition. It’s not a game of subtraction,” he said. “That worked for Donald Trump on one Fall day in 2016. It’s never gonna work again. One Fall day. Stop emulating him.”
Scarborough then suggested that Republican candidates strive to emulate someone like Ronald Reagan, because he won 49 states and didn’t have to stay up to late hours watching results. But Scarborough then got serious once more.
“Stop the nonsense. Play big. Play the long game,” he said. “Be pro-Democracy? Just a thought.”
You can watch the full moment from “Morning Joe” in the video above.