Neoconservative pundit and Iraq War apologist Bill Kristol appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Monday morning to take part in a panel discussion on a number of issues, including potential GOP Presidential candidate Scott Walker’s recent flubs of easy questions surrounding President Obama’s patriotism and the theory of evolution. According to the Weekly Standard editor, Walker is “doing fine” despite the bad press he’s received. On top of that, Kristol praised the Wisconsin Governor for not playing the “gotcha” question game with reporters.
In the aftermath of Rudy Giuliani’s comments claiming President Obama doesn’t love America, and his subsequent doubling down of said comments, Walker was asked his thoughts on the former New York mayor’s remarks. Walker, who was in attendance when Giuliani made his initial statement about Obama’s patriotism, wouldn’t answer the question directly in multiple interviews. Walker also said that he wasn’t sure Obama is a Christian. Earlier in the month, during a panel discussion in England, Walker stated that he was going to “punt” when asked about his thoughts on evolution.
Conservatives have since made the case that Walker was pushing back against the media’s fixation on ”gotcha” questions that lack relevancy. This was the direction Kristol took on Monday morning as he said he thought Walker was doing a masterful job of turning things around on the mainstream press. Kristol also said he wanted to see poll results(?) to bolster his claim that Walker had handled himself well. Besides doing his best possible spin job on Walker’s missteps with the press, Kristol made sure to present former President George W. Bush as a complete victim of the media and Democrats, as he said Bush was treated far worse by Dems than Obama has been by Republicans or the press.
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Apparently, the crap that Kristol was shoveling was too much for even Joe Scarborough, the ultimate Republican honk, to take. As Kristol kept defending Walker’s ineptness at dealing with such easy to answer questions and painting the governor as some kind of hero for higher standards in media, Joe said that was just a bunch of “BS” and he couldn’t imagine that Kristol believed what he was saying. To Joe and the rest of the panel, it doesn’t really matter if the questions were relevant to Walker’s ambitions to be President or Republican ideas for the country. The issue is that these are extremely easy questions to answer, and Walker could have easily just provided a one- or two-word response and moved on from there.
What Walker has proven in the past couple of weeks is that he is far from ready for primetime. He’s too worried about pandering to certain elements of the Republican Party that he can’t even come up with simple answers to common questions that get asked of all candidates. While the most dug-in of conservative activists will complain about the media’s obsession with non-policy questions that are meant to catch a candidate off guard, using that excuse to defend Walker only compares him to Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. Going in that direction for Walker is only going to create an impression of him that he is an anti-intellectual gaffe machine who can only handle the doting right-wing news machine.
Below is the entire segment, courtesy of MSNBC (discussion on Walker starts around the 7-minute mark):
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).