Morning Joe host and former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough announced Tuesday evening he was leaving his party to become an independent.
Scarborough told CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert he could no longer stomach being associated with a party he believes has ignored its core values and turned a blind eye to the racism of President Donald Trump “time and time and time again.”
“Republicans didn’t come out and say, ‘I can never vote for Donald Trump because he’s a racist,’” Scarborough said.
“Time and time and time again they turn the other way,” the MSNBC host said. “And they are doing the same thing now. It’s actually disgusting and you have to ask yourself, what exactly is the Republican Party willing to do? How far are they willing to go? How much of this country and our values are they willing to sell out?”
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“But aren’t you a Republican?” Colbert asked.
“I am a Republican, but I’m not going to be a Republican anymore,” Scarborough said. “I’ve got to become an independent.”
The crowd broke out into cheers.
Sitting beside Scarborough was his co-host and fiancé, Mika Brzezinski.
Wednesday on Morning Joe, Scarborough said he believes many Republicans feel the same way he does.
“I think a lot of Republicans are feeling the same way,” he said. “You apologize for your party for so long and you hope that Republicans when they get into power are going to balance the budget, are going to take care of entitlements, as far as reforming entitlements, making sure Medicare and Social Security is around. You hope that they’re going to push for education reform and give parents — all parents — an opportunity to let their kids go to the schools that they want them to go to.”
“You hope that they’re going to the things that they promised to do,” Scarborough said.
The MSNBC host pointed to the fact that former President George W. Bush entered office in 2001 with a Republican Congress and a $155 billion surplus, yet left with a $1 trillion deficit.
“They promised when they get in power again things would change,” Scarborough said of Republicans in 2016. “It hasn’t changed.”
“They can’t pass tax reform to make us more competitive. They can’t do anything,” he said of his former party. “And they’re cow-tailing to somebody who inexplicably shows them no loyalty whatsoever.”
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