(Eddie Scarry) On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus sat in as a guest to talk about the Party convention in Tampa. MSNBC host Chris Matthews also joined the discussion. And an intense argument between the two broke out when the conversation turned to President Obama’s economic policies.
“I think Obama’s policies,” Priebus said, “have created a sense that for whatever reason, he looks for guidance — as far as health care is concerned, as far as spending is concerned, as far as the stimulus packages are concerned — he’s looking to Europe for guidance. That’s the problem.”
“Where do you get this from? This is insane.” Matthews jumped in. “You mean the fact that every president we’ve had has tried to offset the economic cycle with stimulus going the other direction is somehow European?
Priebus responded, “Look at the spending, he said he’d get the debt under control. Where are we at?”
“What’s this got to do with Europe and this foreignization of [Obama]?” Matthews said, completely straight-faced. “You’re playing that card again. What’s this European thing of yours?”
Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski jumped in. “Let’s work on tone,” she said.
Priebus indicated he was ready to let it go. “I’m not going to get into a shouting match with Chris,” he said.
Matthews responded, “Because you’re losing, that’s why.” Matthews continued, saying “everybody” in the GOP pushes the birther conspiracy that Obama wasn’t born in the United States and is thus ineligible to be president.
“Garbage,” Priebus said.
“It’s your garbage,” Matthews responded.
Following several seconds of uncomfortable silence, host Joe Scarborough tried to break the tension by bringing up tropical storm Isaac, which thwarted the GOP’s plans to start their convention today: “Boy, you know, you hear the hurricane, it might pass us completely and actually go up to New Orelans.”