On Thursday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) had an interview abruptly ended by co-host Mika Brzezinski when he declined to answer a question about how he thought Muslims in his state felt about America.
The questioned asked by co-host Joe Scarborough, in reference a statement Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump made on CNN a night earlier claiming he thought Islam hated us and was at war with the West.
Partial transcript as follows:
SCARBOROUGH: Yeah, I bet you do. You’ve always talked about jobs, jobs, jobs, invest in Florida. So you’re a friend of Donald Trump. Would you tell your friend, Donald Trump, that he should walk back his statements that Muslims, that Islam hates America, that Islam hates us? Do you think Muslims in the state of Florida hate America?
SCOTT: Well, as you know, in Florida we’re the best melting pot in the world. We love everybody coming to our state. After the Paris bombings I did ask the federal government to not allow any more Syrian refugees to come into Florida until we vetted them. I’m still concerned that the federal government’s not vetting them. But that’s what my concern is.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I mean, that could be a reasonable policy position if you wanted to debate that and we could debate that issue. I’m just asking generally, do you think that Muslims hate Americans? That Islam hates America, as Donald Trump said last night?
SCOTT: Well, I can tell you what’s going on in Florida. We have —
BRZEZINSKI: No. That’s not the question.
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, I don’t want to know what’s going on in Florida.
SCOTT: So in our state we’re headed in the right direction.
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no. I want to know what’s going on in your head, Governor. We’re friends. I want you to answer the question. Do you personally think that Islam is a religion that hates America?
SCOTT: So, Joe, what I can tell you in our state is we have a lot of Muslims that live in our state —
BRZEZINSKI: Wrap it.
SCOTT: We’ve got — a lot of Latin-Americans living in our state. We all get along. We love people moving to our state and coming here as tourists. We’re a great melting pot. That’s what I can tell you about our state.
SCOTT: Donald Trump, you know, he can talk about what — the things he wants to talk about. Marco Rubio can, Ted Cruz, John Kasich.
BRZEZINSKI: No. No. Uh-uh. That’s not answering any questions.
SCOTT: But I love the debates. I’m going to be there tonight. I love the debate’s going to be in Miami —
BRZEZINSKI: Rick, Rick, Rick. I know you and Joe are friends and this is kind of awkward. But can you answer the question or should we scoot?
SCOTT: Well, I can tell you that, you know, I’m glad everybody’s in Florida. We’re doing well here. The debate’s going to be fun tonight. I hope they talk about jobs. It’s the most important issue.
BRZEZINSKI: Governor Rick Scott, thanks for being on. We will move on now. Thanks.
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