The situation wasn’t all rainbows and ponies on Monday’s episode of “Morning Joe.” Host Mika Brzezinski defended Barack Obama’s recent apology over the burning of Korans, while Willie Geist seemed much less inclined to agree that it was necessary. The discussion included former George W. Bush foreign policy adviser Dan Senor, who explained that the burning of the books was not, in fact, an anti-religious act.
“I think what puts some people off is the context in which we’re in a constant stream of apologizing in this administration,” Senor said. “Every other week there’s an apology for something wrong that America does.”
Brzezinski disagreed with this vehemently and claimed that Obama’s “we’re sorry” was more than warranted. She turned to Geist and cited the example of an American flag being burned to compare the incidents and the need for a nation’s leadership to apologize for such an action.
“Let’s say the American flag was inadvertently burned. Would that not require an apology from another leader?,” she asked Geist.
“No, because Americans wouldn’t go in the streets and start killing people,” he answered. “So that’s a different situation.”
Geist then turned to Senor and, in an effort to be fair, asked if the former Bush adviser could sympathize with a war-time president doing whatever was needed — including an apology — to protect U.S. troops.
“If President Obama actually believes that this apology is going to tame down the violence, then of course — it’s worth doing anything,” Senor responded. “That’s not the case here. The president apologizes, his surrogates apologize, the commanding general on the ground apologizes — the violence is still spiraling pretty much out of control…”
Following this, Brzezinski was still undeterred.
“I think [the president] has some leverage to apologize without being criticized,” she continued, citing the fact that Obama has been “pretty tough on foreign policy.”
Watch the Brzezinski versus Geist portion of the debate, below:
The entire discussion can be viewed here: