Joe Scarborough said on Tuesday that President Obama is "too weak to be president" if he can't beat the Tea Party in the House.
Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were speaking to New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, who said that Obama deserves a share of the blame for the U.S. credit downgrade for, in his words, being "constantly reactive" to the crisis and for "not having a smarter sense of how to proceed."
Scarborough very much agreed with this assessment, and turned to Brzezinski to press the point.
"He doesn’t understand, Mika, he controls the world stage," he said, as Brzezinski visibly balked. "He has a power with that bully pulpit that nobody else has and he will not use it."
(Watch the video above.)
"He controls the world’s stage unless the Republicans say they will not negotiate on anything," Brzezinski said. "That’s just not true," Scarborough shot back. "That’s just not true!"
A little later, Scarborough said that "strong" presidents would have been able to control the Tea Party.
"A president that cannot control 45 backbenchers in the opposing party in the House of Representatives is too weak to be president of the United States," he concluded. "It is that simple. Lyndon Johnson would have eaten these people up for breakfast and spit them out before lunch."
"These people though are the very people that I think don’t care—" Brzezinski started to say, before Scarborough cut her off.
"It doesn’t matter whether they care or not," he said. "You make them irrelevant to the process if you’re strong enough to do that."
It's an argument Scarborough and Brzezinski have had many times before—with Scarborough criticizing Obama for what he feels is the president's lack of effective political chops, and Brzezinski defending the president, saying that Republican intransigence is the real problem.
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