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'Morning Joe': Panetta, Elite Dems 'Holding Back' on What They Really Think of Obama

'Morning Joe': Panetta, Elite Dems 'Holding Back' on What They Really Think of Obama

On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough and newly minted Bloomberg TV host Mark Halperin discussed opinion behind the scene of President Barack Obama within the Democratic Party ranks.

According to Scarborough, there are parallels to be drawn between Obama in 2014 and then-President George W. Bush in 2006.

“Listen, there are going to be a lot of Democrats on the campaign trail that are going to be hypocrites, that are going to do what Hillary Clinton did by saying, ‘Well gee, if he only listened to me on Syria, dandelions would be spreading across northern Iraq and eastern Syria,’” Scarborough said. “That said, Mark Halperin, at some point, Barack Obama is going to have to face the fact that he is alone and isolated in Washington, D.C. every bit as much, or I would say more than George W. Bush in 2006. I commented at the time that Republicans in 2006 would come to me in green rooms and talk about how absolutely horrific George W. Bush was in the White House, what a terrible leader he was and then the red light would come on and they wouldn’t say anything. Of course, I would so i was hated. I was a disloyal Benedict Arnold Republican for saying on air what they would never say on air. It’s such a carbon copy of that now where Democratic senators, senior Democratic senators trashing Barack Obama up and down when the red light is not on. Red light comes on, they’re muted. Only difference between Leon Panetta and 80 percent of Democrats in Washington I’ve talked to is Leon Panetta is actually saying it while the camera light is on. What are your experiences?

Halperin pointed out it wasn’t just Leon Panetta, who reveals some of his dissatisfaction with Obama in his memoir, and other Washington, D.C. Democratic Party elites, but Hollywood Democrats as well.

Partial transcript as follows:

HALPERIN: Well Ron Fournier is exactly right. What Panetta is saying what you hear from Washington Democrats, but Hollywood Democrats. The president is going out to do a fundraiser tonight. I talked to prominent people in Hollywood. Almost all of them, strong supporters of the president, feel disappointed for one reason or another. Either all the elites in the Democratic Party, or the vast majority of them, are right or the president and his team are right and I think we’ll learn over the next two years and history will record, you know, Panetta says the president is more like a law professor than a passionate leader. I know that Robert [Gibbs] and others hear these things too but they largely dismiss them as not being relevant or being wrong. I think the judgment will be made if he can lead this coalition, if he can deal with the aftermath of the midterms, he can have a good final two years of his presidency but elite opinion is strongly against him on all these same issues.

THOMAS ROBERTS: Let’s not forget Panetta is getting paid and the more that he goes out there to hawk a book –

HALPERIN: He’s not that kind of guy.  

ROBERTS: He doesn’t want to sell a book?

HALPERIN: He does.

ROBERTS: And doesn’t want to have close ties to Hillary Clinton if she runs for president?

HALPERIN: The fact of the matter is in his book and on his book tour, he’s held back on what he really think.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: That’s holding back?

HALPERIN: He does.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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