Image source: MSNBC
"Morning Joe" co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had a tense exchange Thursday over Mitt Romney's now famous "binders full of women" presidential debate line, with Scarborough dismissing Brzezinski's outrage and calling the whole thing "ridiculous."
Brzezinski started the segment by pointing out that Romney had not solicited the "binders" himself upon being elected governor, and that it was Massachusetts women's groups that instigated the hiring of more women for senior cabinet positions.
"How is that not a lie?" Brzezinski asked. "When you say you 'sought out' and then it turns that they were brought to you, that’s not the truth."
Time magazine's Mark Halperin shot her down, saying, "I just don't think that's what this campaign should be about, and I would say that about either side...I think we should have a spirited debate in the campaign about which of these candidates would do more for all Americans — including women — and look at their policy proposals and their records, but I just don't think parsing individual statements said live during the debate..."
Brzezinski argued that it wasn't just a quick debate line and that it was a story Romney had prepared to tell.
"This is a ridiculous, ridiculous argument to make," Scarborough jumped in. "The president's going out talking about binders -- this is an act of desperation."
He said he hopes Democrats and liberals continue to focus on "binder-gate" for the rest of the campaign and pointed to MSNBC's post-debate focus group that saw increased support for Romney among women.
"Keep talking about binders. Mitt Romney's fine," Scarborough said. "It's ridiculous if this concerns you, I guarantee you if this is your concern, that is not the concern of a waitress that is trying to keep her two jobs in Youngstown, Ohio right now...who are moving to Mitt Romney because they don't think President Obama has a strong enough record on the economy."
"We can argue Obama's record on the economy as well, and we could probably have a spirited debate about that and by the way women have done better under the Obama economy than men," Brzezinski said.
"Then argue that instead of 'binder-gate,'" Scarborough said.
Brzezinski continued to argue that women who hear such stories about Romney will be turned off by him, questioning "does he get us."
"Well, keep talking about binders, and Mitt Romney will win in a landslide,"
"Well good, I'm glad he's for flex time because we'll be at work less since we're paid less," Brzezinski said.
"Whatever," Scarborough responded.
Watch below, via MSNBC: