Scarborough to Holder: It's Not Race, It's 'Hardball' Politics

Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 10:03 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Attorney General Eric Holder's insinuation that race was at the heart of criticism against him and President Barack Obama was really nothing more than "hardball" politics in Washington, claimed talk show host and former Florida Rep. Joe Scarborough.

"We've been hearing this for six years, suggesting that there's race behind everything. No. No. There's really not. This is what happens in Washington, D.C.," Scarborough told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday.

Scarborough said current politics looked like "a regular day in the office" when he was a Republican congressman in the 1990s. He explained previous presidents, vice presidents, and attorneys general have all faced intense scrutiny in national politics.

Story continues below video.

"You look at the way [former President] George W. Bush and [former Vice President] Dick Cheney were accused of hating the Constitution, ripping it up to shreds. It's hardball. It's tough," he added.

Holder engaged in a tense exchange with Texas Republican Rep. Louis Gohmert Tuesday during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee. Gohmert chastised Holder for not providing documents requested by Congress.

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In a speech Wednesday to the National Action Network, Holder claimed the treatment he and the president received was unprecedented for their offices.

"What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?" Holder asked Wednesday.

While supporters of Obama claimed, "He's treated worse than anybody," Scarborough said they should "just ask [President] Bill Clinton" about the criticism he underwent.
"People accused Bill Clinton of murdering political rivals in Arkansas. National figures accused Bill Clinton of murder in Arkansas," he explained.

Scarborough explained critics have directed hateful and vitriolic attacks equally at Republicans and Democrats. Regardless of party, he explained, "The other side always wants to knock your head off."

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