National Press Club

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Scarborough Bashes Rs and Ds at Book Event

June 22, 2009 | By Bea Snyder

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MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Scarborough, joined by show co-host Mika Bzezinski, told a packed ballroom at the National Press Club that conservatives need to "rebrand" the conservative movement.

More than 300 NPC members and guests attended last night’s Book and Author event featuring Scarborough's new book, The Last Best Hope, Restoring Conservatism and America’s Promise. In its first week of publication, the book has risen to #7 on The New York Times Best Seller List.

Scarborough criticized Republican leaders in Washington for getting the federal goverment into record deficits and for a "reckless" foreign policy. And Democrats, he says are compounding the problems.

He called for civil discourse to solve the country's problems.

“With hate on the right and on the left, talk show hosts screaming and name calling, the intelligence and tolerance of the American people is underestimated,“ he said.

“Ronald Reagan, the exemplar of a conservative did not hate people, or call people names. He was a gentleman who understood the centrist point of view—very much like President Obama today," he said.

Reagan and then Speaker of the House Thomas "Tip" O’Neill, a Democrat "would argue different points of view during the day, but get together at night for a friendly drink," Scarborough said. " Congenial discussion can be real conversation. That is not what is happening today. We need to re-brand the conservative movement and be fighting to protect taxpayer dollars at home and the lives of our troops abroad."

Scarborough called the conservative movement inconsistent.

"We don’t want the government running General Motors, investment banks and other financial institutions, yet we want the government to get involved in personal decisions like gay marriage and OB-GYN decisions," he said.

Scarborough also weighed in on the proposals for health care overhaul.

“The costs of health care and other entitlement programs such as, Medicare and Medicaid are crippling the country," he said. "Both parties need to make tough choices. This is the time for leadership.