Joe Scarborough: To Catch Bin Laden, Obama Made Choices His Own Base Didn’t Agree With (Updated)

With the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death last night, President Obama secured a decade-long goal in eliminating a mass murderer and global terrorist. While his leadership behind the accomplishment has spurred many to push past partisan politics, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough managed to conjure up a division. In going after bin Laden, Obama not only defied his “base,” he defied his own “ideological leanings”:

SCARBOROUGH: Here, you know, I think Republicans should stand up and certainly salute Barack Obama for making some — again, for making some very tough choices that his own base did not want him to make. That takes courage, that takes leadership, and we saw the results of that courage and leadership saying no to his own base yesterday.[…]

[These are] decisions that he probably did not believe as a candidate he didn’t think he’d have to make…Going against his own ideological leanings to do what he believes he has to do.

Watch it:

Of course, not only did Obama immediately renew the U.S. commitment to finding Bin Laden after his windfall election, he actually campaigned on it. “We will kill Bin Laden. We will crush Al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority,” Obama said during a presidential debate on October 7, 2008. As for “Obama’s base,” the throngs of “mostly young people” (arguably his largest supporters) celebrating in the streets in front of the White House and in New York City last night must have forgotten to be angry. (H/T: @GZornick)


Morning Joe staffers contacted ThinkProgress to explain that Scarborough was not being partisan, but praising President Obama’s leadership in making choices his left base has traditionally opposed. We’ve altered the title to more accurately reflect Scarborough’s comments.

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