Scarborough: Clinton campaign is "at war against African-Americans, and now they are at war against the Democratic Party"

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said of Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign: "They are at war against African-Americans and now they are at war against the Democratic Party." As evidence, Scarborough and Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson falsely claimed that the Clinton campaign "sued the Democratic Party" about caucus sites in Nevada. In fact, the Clinton campaign was not a party to the lawsuit.

During MSNBC's January 26 coverage of the South Carolina Democratic primary results, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-NY) presidential campaign: "They are at war against African-Americans and now they are at war against the Democratic Party."As one piece of evidence of the Clinton campaign's purported "war against the Democratic party," Scarborough and Bloomberg News columnist Margaret Carlson falsely claimed that the Clinton campaign "sued the Democratic Party" about caucus sites in Nevada. In fact, the Clinton campaign was not a party to the lawsuit about caucus locations.

From MSNBC's January 26 coverage:

SCARBOROUGH: A year ago everybody decided in Nevada there would be caucuses. Where? In casinos. The second they [the Clintons] didn't get the endorsement they wanted --

CARLSON: They sued!

SCARBOROUGH: -- they sued the Democratic Party.

CARLSON: They sued, right. Suddenly --

SCARBOROUGH: They are at war against African-Americans, and now they are at war against the Democratic Party.

But contrary to Scarborough and Carlson's claim that the Clintons "sued the Democratic party," the Clinton campaign was not a party to the lawsuit about caucus locations. The plaintiffs were Dwayne Chesnut, John Cahill, Vicky Birkland, John Birkland, Patricia Montgomery, Lynn Warne, and the Nevada State Education Association (NSEA). Warne is president of the NSEA. On January 12, The New York Times reported: "The Nevada State Education Association has said it would not endorse any Democrat, but some of its top officials have endorsed Mrs. Clinton." According to a January 12 post on the Reno Gazette-Journal's "Inside Nevada Politics" blog, the Clinton campaign's Nevada chairman Rory Reid "denied the Clinton campaign had anything to do with its filing." The Gazette-Journal further noted that Sen. Clinton said: "I have no opinion on the lawsuit."

Similarly on the January 13 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, Sen. Clinton said that "I don't think it's supporters of mine" who filed the suit:

RUSSERT: Many people, minorities particularly, supporters of yours, have filed a suit to try to stop having those caucus locations at the workplace. Do you support that suit?

CLINTON: Well, first of all, I don't think it's supporters of mine. There seems to be some misunderstanding about that. I was asked yesterday in Reno. The teachers union who brought the suit has not endorsed me, and so I think their concern is to have as many people participate as possible, which is certainly what it should be. This is now in the courts. The courts and the state party will have to work it out.

Scarborough's assertion that "they are at war against African-Americans and now they at war against the Democratic Party" was previously noted by blogger Todd Beeton in a January 26 post on the blog MyDD.

From the 8 p.m. ET hour of MSNBC's January 26 coverage of the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary, which also featured MSNBC political commentator Pat Buchanan and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson:

DAVID GREGORY (NBC News chief White House correspondent) : And our panel led by Joe Scarborough has been thinking about Bill Clinton.

SCARBOROUGH: How can you think about anybody else? And in fact, Bill Clinton is still, at last report, holding the audience in Missouri hostage. Still talking about himself. There he is. His first five minutes -- and we wrote it down -- Bill Clinton was talking about himself, talking about his presidential library, talking about that library's legacy, talking about his Harlem office, talking about his Arkansas governorship, talking specifics about his Arkansas governorship, talking about everything involving Bill Clinton. But, Margaret, most surprisingly --

KEITH OLBERMANN (MSNBC host): Joe?

SCARBOROUGH: Yes?

OLBERMANN: If you were Bill Clinton tonight, would you want to be talking about how the senator did in South Carolina?

SCARBOROUGH: Well, if I were Bill Clinton --

OLBERMANN: Wouldn't you rather talk about all those things first?

SCARBOROUGH: I would not want to talk about how the senator was doing, especially since the exit polls show she's doing so poorly because of the guy who is still talking. It is fascinating, Keith --

OLBERMANN: I apologize, Margaret.

SCARBOROUGH: -- that he continues to talk. Now here's what's so fascinating, though. If you're reading the tea leaves, right? They send out a pre -- they put out a press release after the defeat. They say, "On to Florida." Bill Clinton, when not talking about himself, says, early on, "On to Florida." Margaret Carlson, once again, the Clinton campaign -- bulls in a china shop. They have offended African-Americans this past week. Now, who are they offending?

CARLSON: The whole --

SCARBOROUGH: The Democratic Party.

CARLSON: Yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: They're blowing this process up because they got routed in South Carolina.

CARLSON: Call me naïve, but you'd think that they'd play by the rules this time, but --

SCARBOROUGH: The rule that all Democrats have?

CARLSON: They set it. They said Michigan and Florida delegates not being seated. We're not -- there's no primary there because they moved their primaries up against the wishes of the rest of the party. However, now they've decided because South Carolina doesn't count, but they did lose it, on to Florida. And that is --

SCARBOROUGH: OK, but wait a second. This happened last week. A year ago everybody decided in Nevada there would be caucuses. Where? In casinos. The second they didn't get the endorsement they wanted --

CARLSON: They sued!

SCARBOROUGH: -- they sued the Democratic Party.

CARLSON: They sued, right. Suddenly --

SCARBOROUGH: They are at war against African-Americans, and now they are at war against the Democratic Party.

CARLSON: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They're willing to disenfranchise restaurant workers, casino workers, and everybody when it doesn't go their way. Now they're willing to go against all the -- everything that everybody's been committed to do in Florida.

SCARBOROUGH: You know what they call this when Republicans do this, Pat Buchanan? Dirty tricks. And you know what makes me sad? You endorse it.

BUCHANAN: Sure.

SCARBOROUGH: And you think the Clintons have been doing the right thing by blowing up the rules now because things aren't going their way.

CARLSON: Mr. Tough Guy.

BUCHANAN You know how many people have already voted in Florida, Joe? Four hundred thousand Democrats have already voted. Barack Obama ran ads on cable TV. They played in Florida. That's all the Clintons needed to say, "Let's go in there." They're going to run up the score on him in Florida. You saw Bill Clinton. Did he look like a loser to you? He is laughing, friend. The strategy has worked. Barack Obama got --

SCARBOROUGH: Wait, wait, wait, Pat Buchanan.

BUCHANAN: Let me --

SCARBOROUGH: Do you know he was laughing? Because he had a microphone and nobody could take it away from him.

Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Joe Scarborough, Margaret Carlson
Show/Publication
MSNBC Live
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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