President Barack Obama's decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline was "unacceptable" and reflected "bad policy" because of the effect the project could have on jobs and the domestic energy market, talk show host Joe Scarborough said.
"It is unacceptable. I don't understand it. Especially when you look at two issues that are key here, jobs . . . but, also energy," Scarborough told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday.
The viewpoint was echoed by fellow "Morning Joe" panelists, as co-host Mika Brzezinski called the decision "hard to defend." And, Mark Halperin, Time magazine political analyst, said it wasn't "great politics."
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While the decision might placate progressives and liberals, the result would be to abandon Democratic senators running for re-election in difficult races, said Scarborough, a former Republican Florida congressman.
"This is all about politics. But, if you look at the politics, you're actually leaving Democratic senators, who have the biggest chance of losing, and hanging them out to dry.
"I think it's bad policy. I think it's bad for jobs. We need jobs. I think it sends a bad message to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin," Scarborough said.
The decision also alienated Canada, which Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, called "one of our two most important trading partners."
While the delay appeased environmentalists who fiercely opposed the project, Haass said that building the pipeline wouldn't "change the fundamental climate change issue."
The decision placated certain moneyed Democratic donors, Halperin suggested. If the pipeline had been approved, he said those donors might have kept "mega gifts" from Democrats running for office.
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