“Morning Joe” opened Wednesday with a memoriam of sorts for Sen. Jeff Flake, the Arizona Republican who announced Tuesday on the Senate floor that he would not seek re-election in 2018 and ripped into “untruthful” President Donald Trump.
Scarborough — once an elected Republican himself — also used the moment to lament the collapse of his former party and take a pointed swipe at his Fox News rivals for turning on Flake.
“Jeff Flake, who is supposed to be this big liberal, that some goons over at Fox News — I won’t mention his name — are attacking, Jeff Flake has a 96 percent lifetime conservative rating,” said Scarborough. “He is the champion and has been his entire life of small government, of free trade. I mean, so, when Jeff Flake becomes too liberal for your party, your party is headed towards the tar pits.”
Tar pits — visual stuff. “Morning Joe” mainstay Mike Barnicle picked up on that theme to suggest that the Republican party had become “a dumpster fire.”
Now it’s not clear what Fox News personality Scarborough was referencing, but Flake took a pounding during Fox News’ primetime lineup on Tuesday. Despite his conservative record, the senator has become one of President Trump’s most ferocious Republican critics and thus has lately run afoul of the network’s right-leaning hosts.
Though Scarborough declined to “mention his name,” he has in the past engaged in a known and very public on-air feud with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity.
For a several-week period earlier this year, the two regularly traded barbs from their respected sets and on Twitter, with Hannity going so far as to produce a clip reel for his show of what he said were Scarborough’s most unhinged moments.