Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have nothing on MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. The latter duo went after each other big time over education reform on Scarborough’s “Morning Joe” show Thursday, Politico reports.
Scarborough accused Dean of lying about Democrats’ role in preventing progress at schools. “The fact of the matter is, the system is broken, and it has been the Democratic establishment over the past generation that’s been defending that broken status quo,” Scarborough said.
Dean’s response: “That’s ridiculous, Joe . . . that’s preposterous, that’s foolish to say something like that. That’s the most ridiculous statement you’ve said since I’ve been on this show, for over three years.”
Scarborough was unbowed. “The Democratic Party in Washington, D.C., has been the defender of teachers unions that for a generation have stood in the way of reform, just like they’re doing right now in New York City,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is the establishment Democratic Party in Washington, D.C., has been defending the status quo for years, and you know it,” Scarborough added.
Dean began to get upset. “Knock it off,” he said.
Again, Scarborough would take no guff. “Howard, you can say this all you want. You know you’re not telling the truth,” he said.
Scarborough accused the charter school where Dean works, which is run by the American Federation of Teachers, of being created merely to give unions a public relations vehicle.
“I’m asking you if you really want to defend the indefensible, is that what you want to do here today? With everybody knowing that you are not telling the truth about teachers union reform,” Scarborough said.
Dean seemed to calm down a bit, saying the two shouldn’t be accusing each other of “things like ‘not telling the truth.’”
That didn’t cut it for Scarborough. “I do not need lectures from you on education reform,” he said.
But Scarborough apologized after a commercial break. “I’m sorry, I’m on flu medication, if I was a little more hostile than usual,” he said. “This is obviously something I feel very strongly about, and I have felt strongly about for 15 years.”
Dean laughed and accepted Scarborough’s conciliation. The host said he would hold an upcoming edition of “Morning Joe” in New Jersey to focus on education reform and invited Dean to appear. So the two parted as friends.
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