Joe Scarborough: "If Al Franken steals enough votes in Minnesota, [Dems] get to 60"

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

Discussing the possibility of Democrats gaining a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, Joe Scarborough stated, "So, with [Sen. Ted] Stevens losing, Democrats have 58 [senators and Senator-elects]. They've got this run-off in Georgia, which could get them to 59. ... If Al Franken steals enough votes in Minnesota, they get to 60. I'm not saying he stole any votes, I'm just saying, as a Republican from Florida, I mean, it's a close race. Steal some votes, you get over the top." In fact, Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has repeatedly said there is no actual evidence of fraud in the vote count of the state's Senate race.

During the November 19 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski noted that "Alaska's [Sen.] Ted Stevens [R] has lost to Anchorage mayor Mark Begich [D], whose win moves Senate Democrats within two seats of a filibuster-proof majority." Host Joe Scarborough then stated: "All right. So, again, recapping: if Al Franken can steal enough votes in Minnesota, that's get -- that gets Democrats to 59" Senate seats. Minnesota officials have begun a recount of the state's 2.9 million total votes cast after an initial count found incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman leading by 215 votes. Earlier, Scarborough stated: "So, with Stevens losing, Democrats have 58 [senators and Senator-elects]. They've got this run-off in Georgia, which could get them to 59. ... If Al Franken steals enough votes in Minnesota, they get to 60. I'm not saying he stole any votes, I'm just saying, as a Republican from Florida, I mean, it's a close race. Steal some votes, you get over the top." Brzezinski stated: "They're gonna find them in the trunk of a car," an apparent reference to the widely discredited rumor that 32 absentee ballots from Minneapolis were mishandled.

As Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, Minnesota Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has repeatedly said there is no actual evidence of fraud in the vote count of the state's Senate race.

As Media Matters also noted, Fritz Knaak, a lawyer for Coleman, reportedly said on November 8, "We were actually told [ballots] had been riding around in [Minneapolis elections director Cynthia Reichert's] car for several days, which raised all kinds of integrity questions." But the Associated Press reported that same day that Knaak "said a Minneapolis attorney reassured Coleman's campaign that no one but an elected official had access to the 32 ballots and there was no tampering." On November 10, Knaak further reportedly said of the purported incident, "It does not appear that there was any ballot-tampering, and that was our concern." Additionally, state officials have refuted rumors that the ballots were handled improperly, and Pawlenty -- who initially forwarded the car ballot rumor himself -- has stated that "[t]here's a news report in Minnesota that the ballot-in-the-trunk story has now been retracted, that it wasn't accurate."

From the November 19 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

SCARBOROUGH: So, with Stevens losing --

BRZEZINSKI: Yes.

SCARBOROUGH: -- Democrats have 58.

BRZEZINSKI: Hmm-mm.

SCARBOROUGH: They've got this run-off in Georgia, which could get them to 59. And then if Al Franken - yeah.

BRZEZINSKI: Franken, yeah.

SCARBOROUGH: If Al Franken steals enough votes in Minnesota --

BRZEZINSKI: They could get to 60.

SCARBOROUGH: -- they get to 60. I'm not saying he stole any votes --

BRZEZINSKI: They're gonna find them in the trunk of a car.

SCARBOROUGH: -- I'm just saying, as a Republican from Florida, I mean, it's a close race. Steal some votes, you get over the top. Democrats have 60. Right, Barnicle?

MIKE BARNICLE (MSNBC political analyst): And they have [Sen. Joe] Lieberman [I-CT].

[...]

BRZEZINSKI: Guys, enough.

SCARBOROUGH: OK. So, we're pulling for the pirates. Go ahead.

BRZEZINSKI: No, they're not like pirates like you read to [Scarborough's daughter] Kate in a little book.

SCARBOROUGH: It's not like Johnny Depp?

BRZEZINSKI: They have hostages, idiots.

SCARBOROUGH: Oh, that's bad. We're against them, then.

BRZEZINSKI: Pirates are expected to demand millions of dollars in ransom.

SCARBOROUGH: Who are the hostages from?

BRZEZINSKI: OK, now you need to be quiet, all right? The longest-serving Republican in Senate history has been defeated --

SCARBOROUGH: 'Cause if it's Ted Stevens, I'm pulling for the pirates. Still, if Ted Stevens is their hostage, I'm for the pirates.

BRZEZINSKI: Just weeks after being convicted on federal corruption charges, Alaska's Ted Stevens has lost to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, whose win moves Senate Democrats within two seats of a filibuster-proof majority.

SCARBOROUGH: All right. So, again, recapping: If Al Franken can steal enough votes in Minnesota, that's get -- that gets Democrats to 59.

BRZEZINSKI: That's right.

SCARBOROUGH: And then [Sen.] Saxby Chambliss [R-GA] loses in the special run-off, Democrats gets 60 -- filibuster-proof majority.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski
Show/Publication
Morning Joe
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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