MSNBC host Joe Scarborough opened a “Morning Joe” segment on Thursday with an attack on both Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and his supporters.
The MSNBC host focused on the recent press conference held by DeSantis on Wednesday where he responded to President Joe Biden’s attacks on his management of COVID-19 in his state. During the conference, DeSantis also called out Biden’s lack of response to the ongoing crisis along the southern border.
“Joe Biden has taken to himself to try to single out Florida over COVID. What is his big solution? What is he so upset about Florida?” DeSantis said. “His solution is he wants to have the government force kindergarteners to wear masks in school. He thinks that should be a decision for the government. Well I can tell you that in Florida, the parents are going to be the ones in charge of that decision. So why don’t you do your job, why don’t you get this border secure, and until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you.”
Scarborough, who served as a Florida congressman from 1995 to 2001, immediately mocked this response, claiming DeSantis was attempting to fool his unintelligent followers.
“I mean, who, who was he talking to? Cletus the slack-jawed yokel? Like who, who was really fooled by that?” Scarborough fired back.
“Cletus the slack-jawed yokel,” references a side character featured on the long-running animated show “The Simpsons,” but reporters and media hosts have often been quick to mock Republican voters.
CNN’s Don Lemon was featured laughing furiously as Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson and CNN contributor Wajahat Ali mocked Donald Trump supporters on air referring to them as “the credulous boomer rube demo” with heavy southern accents.
“‘Donald Trump’s the smart one — and y’all elitists are dumb!'” Wilson said.
“‘You elitists with your geography and your maps- and your spelling!'” Ali responded.
Don Lemon later claimed that he “was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people.”
MSNBC host Mehdi Hassan also openly defended Hillary Clinton’s infamous “basket of deplorables” comment where she labelled a wide swath of Republican supporters as bigoted.
“But the reality is there are millions of Americans out there who either support racist, far-right, authoritarian views or are willing to turn a blind eye and still vote for the people pushing those views,” Hassan argued.
Scarborough also accused DeSantis of actually promoting socialism for signing an executive order making masking optional in K-12 schools. He also flouted the nick name “Socialist Ron.”
“But ol’ Ron, he says no. The power of the state, socialism rules, we’re going to decide everything from 1,000 miles away. It’s no more conservative, actually, than good ol’ Ron, Socialist Ron, saying, hey, if you were a business, you have no control over how you keep your business safe. I will ban you from taking safety precautions that you think will keep people inside your business safe and that you think will help your bottom line. Big Republicanism? I guess so. Sounds like socialism to me,” Scarborough argued.
While DeSantis is an opponent of mask mandates, he does not bar people from masking themselves or their children of their own choice.
“We pride ourselves on people being free to choose on how they want to govern their affairs,” DeSantis said. “We’re basically empowering the parents to be able to recognize what’s best for their kids.”