Donald Trump's convention speech
did exactly what it was supposed to do, MSNBC "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough declared Friday.
"It just may be the speech that millions and millions of people in middle America have been waiting to hear for a very long time," the former congressman said before a live audience in Cleveland
"I don't know if they expected sunshine and flowers," he continued. "It was a dark speech. We have been saying for two months now, with everybody's low approval ratings that you're not going to win the presidency. You're going to disqualify the other candidate . . . Everybody is acting so shocked that conventions are sometimes negative."
Bloomberg Politics Editor Mark Halperin said he did expect there to be more humor and personality in the address, and he did have a place "where he made that face," but overall, Trump "executed what he and his campaign wanted to execute."
Columnist and political commentator Mike Barnicle, however, said that he found that Trump focused on fear, and he thought that was "tough to handle."
"It's tough to read," said Barnicle. "There's a lot of anxiety in the country. People feel they have lost a lot. They have lost 401(k)s here in Cleveland. They were decimated in 2008 and 2009. The foreclosure crisis, no doubt about that. You want to feel a little hope for your children. That's where the fear thing comes into play."
Still, Barnicle said, "you can't cover the country in a blanket of fear."
"We all woke up today and came here," he commented. "A lot of people in the country woke up today and they'll go to work. Do they go to work filled with fear? I don't think so."
Scarborough pointed out, though that according to polls, seven out of 10 Americans fear the nation is on the "wrong track."
NBC correspondent Willie Geist, also on the show's panel, said he thought Trump "painted the picture of an almost-dystopian 'Mad Max' America in his speech, "where there's shootouts in the streets, terrorism in the stores, where the schools have all gone to hell."
"I'm not sure everyone in the country recognizes that America exactly, but I also don't think anyone should be surprised by Donald Trump's speech last night," Geist said. "These are the things he has been saying now for almost a year-and-a-half out on the campaign trail. Anyone who thought he was going to give a Reaganesque sitting on a hill speech, that would be more surprising than what we saw last night."
Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, though, said Trump "took that darkness and attached feeling to it."
"Yeah, people are going to get up, and many will go to work," he said. "But people know people who aren't going to go to work. Or they went to work with a full-time job and now it's a part-time job.
"This speech in many respects tried to get the emotion out there, the 69 percent who feel this is not in the right place. They feel this is not on the right track."
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