The morning after ABC-TV aired Diane Sawyer’s interview with Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady’s comment about being “dead broke” when she and Bill Clinton left the White House in January of 2001 is a source of much ridicule and mockery.
However, it was probably a surprise to many to see that some hosts and contributors on MSNBC, long considered a media outlet that is friendly to Democrats and the Clintons, tearing into that specific statement, as well as Mrs. Clinton’s new memoir, “Hard Choices.”
The surprising statements about the former first lady and her book came during the opening segment of Tuesday’s edition of “Morning Joe.” Joe Scarborough, co-host Mika Brzezinski, and frequent panelists Mark Halperin from Time Magazine, Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post and Jeremy Peters of the New York Times all weighed in on the “dead broke” comment.
Brzezinski, someone who has been open about her lack of support for a Hillary Clinton 2016 run (she’s been in the Elizabeth Warren camp), was leading the charge in the attack on the “tone deaf” comment.
“It’s not just a little tone deaf,” remarked Mika. Calling the comment “contrived” and a “huge mistake,” Brzezinski debated with most of the other panelists who were bothered by it, but not quite as upset about the comment.
However, Time’s Mark Halperin did side with Mika. Not only did the regular “Morning Joe” panelist agree on the “tone deafness,” he supported Brzezinski’s point, stating that if a member of the GOP had the close ties to Wall Street and Banks enjoyed by the Clintons, and made similar comments, “we would have eviscerated them.”
Halperin continued, “To me, what this is about, if she decides to run, she becomes president of the United States, unless she stops herself.”
The panel continued to argue, talking over each other for almost 30 seconds, which can seem like an eternity on television. Robinson, a supporter who believes Clinton will not take herself out of the race for the White House attempted to express his opinion, “The rest of the book, I don’t think it was tone deaf, it was very careful…uh, uh.”
As Robinson paused, looking for the right words to finish his thought, Halperin jumped in and delivered his succinct and clear opinion on the book, stating, “Here’s why I think it’s tone deaf. There’s nothing in the book that tells you what she’d do as president.”
Halperin continued, “The book might be a great literary masterpiece. She might make a lot of money off of it, but if the point of the book is to help advance her presidential campaign, it is cautious mush.”
Robinson offered the explanation that the book was meant to get her campaign further down the road, stating, “She doesn’t want to be the front-running candidate all year.”
To which Halperin replied, ”Forget front-running candidate. How about explaining how America meets its challenges?”
Watch the entire, 16 minute segment here (The clipped segment above starts about 13 minutes in):
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter