Morning Joe host and former Republican politician Joe Scarborough has a bone to pick with self-proclaimed “bae” Marco Rubio, who has appeared on a variety of shows on competing networks but refuses to come in for an interview on his.

The New York Times reports that Morning Joe’s producer sent a message to a Rubio aide:

‘Joe sees this as disrespectful given their past relationship,’ the producer wrote...‘It’s as simple as that.’

‘Have him come on with us,’ the producer wrote.

But it may not be as simple as that. This feud dredges up some history: both men hail from the conservative political scene in Florida, Scarborough has criticized Rubio sharply in the past, and his criticism has increased of late:

“While Mr. Rubio has boycotted the program, its hosts have derided him for everything from his fashion choices (‘shagalicious’) to his lack of legislative accomplishments, producing the kind of memorable moments that have taken off on social media.

In an interview Saturday, Mr. Scarborough could not hide his disapproval of Mr. Rubio, describing him as ‘programmed’ and ‘risk averse.’” And after Mr. Rubio’s debate performance on Saturday appeared to validate his critique, Mr. Scarborough took something of a victory lap.

“I’ve been criticized for saying Marco looks too robotic, too prepackaged, and too young,” he wrote in a text message. “But everything I’ve said alone for months is now being repeated this morning by everyone else in the political world. My critiques weren’t personal: they were right.”

However, many people think the critiques are personal, and that Scarborough is jealous. “Both men were ascendant conservative stars in Florida until their paths diverged,” writes the Times.

Mr. Scarborough, who served four terms in the House, had long eyed a Senate seat. But it was Mr. Rubio, who ran and won in 2010, buoyed by a Tea Party wave. (At the time, Mr. Scarborough questioned the viability of Mr. Rubio’s candidacy, at one point warning that the “other shoe” was going to drop — though the promised scandal never emerged.)

Scarborough, who has never actually met Rubio, insists his job is better. “I guarantee you if [Rubio’s] not elected president, he would much rather have my job than anything else,” he told the Times.

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In the meantime, every other major candidate has come on Morning Joe except Rubio, and Scarborough continues attempts to land an interview with his rival.


Contact the author at rachel.vorona.cote@jezebel.com.

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