Joe Scarborough hammered the White House over its fiscal cliff offer on Monday, calling it a "non-starter."
The MSNBC host echoed the reaction of many Republicans. Speaker John Boehner said that he was shocked by the budget proposal —which called for $1.6 trillion in tax increases for the wealthiest 2% of Americans over 10 years and $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending — when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner presented it last week.
"It was a non-starter and they knew it was a non-starter," Scarborough said. "Richard Wolffe, my question to you is why did the White House decide to have this as their opening volley when they knew the response would be a negative one that they drew?"
Wolffe agreed that it was "a hard ball offer" in the first stage of talks, but that there will be a Republican counteroffer.
Later, Scarborough asked "was it necessary for the president to be so provocative." He noted that business leaders are following the negotiations very carefully.
"You've got to be careful to not start with such an insulting offer..." he said. "I think they were awfully reckless with this first offer."