Morning Joe Trashes ‘Dull’ & ‘Lifeless’ Dem Debate: ‘Nobody Looked Good’

On Wednesday, the crew of MSNBC’s Morning Joe all agreed that Tuesday night’s Democratic debate was a “dull” and “lifeless” event in which “nobody looked good.” According to co-host Joe Scarborough, the only thing the debate accomplished was to show the 2020 contenders “are still not ready for prime time.”

After political analyst John Heilemann concluded “it was a dull debate, it was a plodding debate,” Scarborough chimed in:

Heilemann reiterated that the debate was “dull and plodding” before admitting: “You know, I really was sort of stunned by how airless and lifeless the debate was.”

Minutes later, Scarborough warned liberal viewers: “…the whole thing should send a chill up Democrats’ spines because these people are still not ready for prime time.”

The discussion began with Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski slamming Senator Elizabeth Warren for seeming to refuse to shake the hand of fellow Senator Bernie Sanders. After playing a clip of the awkward moment, Brzezinski scolded the juvenile behavior: “Really? Wow. Are we like that?” She sarcastically added: “This is fantastic for the Democrats.”

Scarborough observed: “…not a good look for two top Democrats fighting over something as stupid as this.” Brzezinski added: “Not cool.”

Earlier on the show, Brzezinski also hammered CNN debate moderator Abby Phillip for her “bizarre” questioning of Sanders and Warren regarding Warren’s claim that Sanders allegedly once told her that a woman could never get elected President of the United States.

6:13 AM ET


JOE SCARBOROUGH: This clip is what people were focusing on last night after the debate. Let’s run it, Alex. So everybody shaking hands.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Yup, [Elizabeth Warren] shakes hands with Joe Biden. And then, clearly the rift is with Bernie Sanders, so you’re going to make an attempt to shake his hand to show – [Warren avoids shaking Sanders’ hand]

SCARBOROUGH: This is – oh, holds back.  

BRZEZINSKI: Really? Wow. Are we like that? Okay. This is fantastic for the Democrats.

SCARBOROUGH: Okay, and then of course Anderson Cooper. Hi, Anderson, how are you doing? Hope you’re well. Alright, thank you very much, we’ve seen enough of the tape. [Laughter]

So yeah, I mean, listen, people – it’s – we’re going to have frame by frame, it’s the Zapruder tape now, frame by frame, but still not a good look…


SCARBOROUGH: …for two top Democrats fighting over something as stupid as this.  

BRZEZINSKI: Well, Bernie tried to shake her hand. Heilemann?

JOHN HEILEMANN: Oh, sorry you guys, back to me. [Laughter] Yeah. Yes, total – look, the tape, I think, you’re right, Joe, it’s going to be Zapruder, people are going to analyze it. There were people trying to do lip reading on it after the debate last night. And as usual, in the environment we now live in on Twitter, you had people who looked at that tape and were like, “Man, Elizabeth Warren really showed Bernie Sanders,” and then you had another bunch of people like, “Oh, my god, Bernie Sanders really showed Elizabeth Warren.” And it makes my head hurt how the same context of the story where, you know, some people are absolutely convinced that Bernie Sanders is lying and other people are absolutely convinced Elizabeth Warren is lying and I get heat when I say, I don’t know. I don’t really know what happened in this conversation, but I do know this, I think, you know, this moment of the debate last night, and it was a dull debate, it was a plodding debate, it was not a debate –

SCARBOROUGH: By the way, John, I mean, nobody looked good on that debate stage last night. Let’s just say what everybody is saying behind the scenes, I mean, who I’ve talked to, nobody looked good on the debate stage last night. It was probably everybody’s weakest performance.

HEILEMANN: It was a dull and plodding debate. You had 39 minutes at the top of the debate about foreign policy and trade and not really even any pointed questions about Iran. It was really kind of like, “Why are you the best person could be commander in chief?” You know, I really was sort of stunned by how airless and lifeless the debate was.


6:17 AM

SCARBOROUGH: The thing is, if they were debating over policy, that’s one thing.


SCARBOROUGH: But here we are, on the same night that Donald Trump, the President of the United States, called Democrats traitors, they’re not shaking each other’s hands and they’re whining and whimpering about, you know, God knows what and people trying to recall two-year-old phone conversations and it just – the whole thing should send a chill up Democrats’ spines because these people are still not ready for prime time.


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