During Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough tore into Republican Sen. Ron Johnson calling him a “bigot” for saying he was unafraid of white insurrectionists but would have feared Black Lives Matter protesters. Johnson’s comment drew immediate widespread backlash.
Hours later, Johnson scrambled to defend his comments, claiming to be surprised by the fierce negative reaction to his remarks. But Joe Scarborough called out the racism and inaccuracy in Johnson’s claims.
“An ‘innocuous comment,'” the “Morning Joe” host said, quoting the Wisconsin senator’s denial. “An innocuous comment where he said, I’m going to get in trouble for saying this.’ He knew exactly what he was doing. Let me tell you, Ron, the left doesn’t want you to be silenced, because the more you say bigoted things like the other day, the more you actually help the left and the more you hurt Republicans. So, yes, Ron, they don’t want you to be silenced, and of course, you aren’t silenced, because you actually wrote an op-ed in one of the largest newspapers on the planet, one of the most important newspapers on the planet. We keep hearing this, ‘I will not be silenced,’ as people write op-eds in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and go on national news networks and get more access to the American people than anybody else. It’s just a stupid, stupid argument.”
“But again, Ron Johnson said he was going to get in trouble for saying this, but these people truly respect law enforcement, unlike Black Lives Matters marchers and they would never break the law,” he added. “What the hell — how does he say that when several cops are dead and scores of cops were beaten, battered and abused by Donald Trump supporters that day? They were going around, wanting to hang Mike Pence and chanting it, had a noose for Mike Pence. They were calling for Nancy Pelosi, wanted to get her, and there were Republicans just as scared of this mob as Democrats, so how does Ron Johnson say that people’s lives being endangered and police officers being killed is not as worrisome to him as Black people marching?”
Scarborough then called Johnson “a bigot.”
“He’s a bigot, if you judge him by his words, he’s a bigot,” Johnson said. “He said if these were Black people, he would have been scared. As I said the day after, if they were Black people, they would have all been shot in the face. If they were Muslims, they would have been sniped from the top of the building. They were white people, so this BS was allowed to continue for too long. The National Guard wasn’t called in, police officers didn’t move as quickly. Some Capitol cops were letting them move in and out freely, opening up the gates, letting them run through it. This is grotesque, and it is an insult. It is an insult to the police officers who died that day and who were hurt that day that a United States senator is saying that these were peaceful law-abiding people who he wasn’t worried about. [He] would have been worried if they were Black, but they weren’t Black, so, this didn’t bother him.”