Joe Scarborough Interviewed in Salon

Since he asked Is Bush an Idiot? Joe Scarborough has been all over the liberal media, from Huffington Post to an interview today in Salon. Here’s a portion of a couple of his answers:

That brings up another question I wanted to ask you — you’ve been tough on liberals in the past, and you continue to be tough on them now. With your recent shift in viewpoint, have your feelings on liberalism, and the liberal critics of the administration, changed at all?

Obviously since the things they were predicting about Iraq have been proven to be accurate, or at least more accurate than what the administration was saying back in 2003, you certainly have to tip your hat to them.

Your criticism of the president has been about more than just the Iraq war — you’ve criticized the NSA eavesdropping program, you’ve criticized the bank records program, you’ve criticized government spending. What’s prompted that criticism, and that direction on your show, generally?

You know, it started back in 2004. I wrote a book called “Rome Wasn’t Burnt in a Day,” which three people read, because when you write books now you either have to be on the left calling the president a liar or be on the right calling people treasonous. I actually took Republicans and Democrats to task and was harshly critical of the president and my Republican colleagues for being so hypocritical … No tough choices are being made in Washington. You want to have a war? OK, we’ll pay for it. You want tax cuts? OK, we’ll pay for it. You want a $7 trillion Medicare drug benefit plan? OK, we’ll pay for it…

Here’s the kicker — since 2004, I have been attacked by Republicans, by conservatives, well, actually, more by Republican loyalists than conservatives, by basically the Republican establishment in Washington, for saying the exact same thing that we were all saying in 1995, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99. We were always attacking Bill Clinton’s spending levels. Dick Armey called him a Marxist, called Hillary Clinton a Marxist. As I point out in speeches these days, government spending grew by 3.4 percent annually under Bill Clinton the Marxist. Spending has grown by 10.5 percent under George Bush the fiscal conservative. I always say: Give me that choice, I’ll take the Marxist at 3.4 percent any day of the week. And so I started in 2004, and when you talk about NSA wiretapping, when you talk about the bank records, my criticisms — I’m saying the exact same thing now that Bob Barr and David Vitter and myself were saying on the Judiciary Committee in 1999 and in 2000, when Janet Reno was trying to get roving wiretaps without coming to Congress first.

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