Charles Joseph Scarborough (//; born April 9, 1963) is an American television host, attorney, political commentator, and former politician who is the co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC with his wife Mika Brzezinski. He previously hosted Scarborough Country on the same network. Before that he was a lawyer and a politician, serving in the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001 as a Republican for Florida's 1st district.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Florida's 1st district
January 3, 1995 – September 5, 2001
|Preceded by||Earl Hutto|
|Succeeded by||Jeff Miller|
Charles Joseph Scarborough
April 9, 1963
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Political party||Independent (2017–present)|
|Republican (before 2017)|
(m. 1986; div. 1999)
(m. 2001; div. 2013)
|Education||University of Alabama (BA)|
University of Florida (JD)
Scarborough was also a visiting fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He was named in the 2011 Time 100 as one of the most influential people in the world.
Early life and educationEdit
Scarborough was born in Atlanta, the son of Mary Joanna (née Clark) and George Francis Scarborough, a businessman. He has two siblings. Scarborough attended Pensacola Catholic High School in Pensacola, Florida. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Alabama in 1985 and a Juris Doctor from the University of Florida College of Law in 1990. During this time, he wrote music and produced CDs with his band, Dixon Mills, including the album Calling on Robert E. Lee, and he also coached football and taught high school.
Scarborough's most high-profile case was briefly representing Michael F. Griffin, who murdered Dr. David Gunn in 1993. He made several court appearances representing Griffin, before removing himself from the case, later saying: "There was no way in hell I could sit in at a civil trial, let alone a capital trial," referring to the prospect of prosecutors seeking the death penalty against Griffin. Scarborough assisted Griffin in choosing other counsel from the many who offered their services, however, and helped shield the family from the media exposure, pro bono.
U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit
In 1994, Scarborough won the Republican Party primary for Florida's 1st congressional district. The seat had come open when eight-term Democratic incumbent Earl Hutto announced his retirement. In the general election, Scarborough defeated the Democratic candidate, Pensacola attorney Vince "Vinnie" Whibbs Jr., with 61 percent of the vote. Whibbs was the son of former Pensacola mayor Vince Whibbs. The district had not supported a Democratic candidate for U.S. president since 1960. However, Democratic candidates had continued to hold most local offices well into the 1990s. Scarborough's win coincided with a large Republican wave that allowed the Republicans to take the majority in the House for the first time in 40 years.
During his congressional career, he received a 95 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. He signed the Contract with America. Scarborough served on the Armed Services, Judiciary, Government Reform, and Education committees. In 1998 he was named chairman of the Civil Service Committee.
Scarborough was one of a group of about 40 freshmen Republican legislators who dubbed themselves the "New Federalists" after The Federalist Papers. Scarborough was elected political director of the incoming legislators. The New Federalists called for sweeping cuts in the U.S. government, including plans to "privatize, localize, consolidate, [or] eliminate" the Departments of Commerce, Education, Energy and Housing and Urban Development. House speaker Newt Gingrich tapped Scarborough to head a Republican task force on education, and Scarborough declared, "Our goal is to get as much money, power, and authority out of Washington and get as much money, power, and authority into the classroom as possible." Rep. John Kasich (R-Ohio), then chairman of the House Budget Committee, adopted Scarborough's language eliminating the federal Department of Education in the 1996 House Budget Resolution. The budget passed the House by a vote of 238–193.
Scarborough supported a number of anti-abortion positions while in Congress, including the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, that made it a crime to harm a fetus during the commission of other crimes.
Scarborough sponsored a bill to force the U.S. to withdraw from the United Nations after a four-year transition and voted to make the Corporation for Public Broadcasting self-sufficient by eliminating federal funding. He also voted for the "Medicare Preservation act of 1995," which cut the projected growth of Medicare by $270 billion over ten years, and against the "Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996," which raised the minimum wage to $5.15. Scarborough had a conservative voting record on economic, social, and foreign policy issues but was seen as moderate on environmental issues and human rights causes, including supporting the closure of the School of the Americas and defending accused terrorist Lori Berenson.
While in Congress, Scarborough received a number of awards, including the "Friend of the Taxpayer Award" from Americans for Tax Reform; the "Guardian of Small Business Award" from the National Federation of Independent Business; the "Spirit of Enterprise Award" from the United States Chamber of Commerce; the "Taxpayer's Hero Award" from the Citizens Against Government Waste; and the "Guardian of Seniors' Rights Award" from the 60 Plus Association.
- 104th Congress – Committee on Government Reform and Oversight – Committee on National Security (formerly Committee on Armed Services)
- 105th Congress – Committee on National Security – Committee on Government Reform and Oversight – Committee on Education and the Workforce
- 106th Congress – Committee on Armed Services – Committee on Government Reform – Committee on the Judiciary
- 107th Congress – Committee on Government Reform – Committee on the Judiciary
|1994||Vince Whibbs||70,416||38%||Joe Scarborough||112,974||62%|
|1996||Kevin Beck||66,495||27%||Joe Scarborough||175,946||73%|
|1998||Tom Wells (write-in)||663||0%||Joe Scarborough||140,525||99.5%|
In May 2001, five months into his fourth term in Congress, Scarborough announced his intention to resign to spend more time with his children. Of his resignation, Scarborough said, "The realization has come home to me that they're at a critical stage of their lives and I would rather be judged at the end of my life as a father than as a congressman."
A special election was held in October 2001 to replace Scarborough. Since then, Scarborough has contemplated returning to politics several times. On July 11, 2017, Scarborough announced on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that he was leaving the Republican Party to become an independent.
In 1999, while still serving in Congress, Scarborough founded the free weekly Pensacola-area newspaper The Florida Sun. The paper merged in 2001 and is now known as the Independent News.
In April 2003, he embarked upon a television career with the launch of Scarborough Country on MSNBC. In May 2007, he began hosting Morning Joe.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post in August 2016, Scarborough argued that the Republican Party must "dump Donald Trump" as their presidential candidate. Drawing attention to Trump's remarks about Hillary Clinton and the Second Amendment, Scarborough wrote: "A bloody line has been crossed that cannot be ignored. At long last, Donald Trump has left the Republican Party few options but to act decisively and get this political train wreck off the tracks before something terrible happens."
In June 2017, Scarborough and Brzezinski were the targets of tweets by President Trump that, in response to their coverage of his administration, referred to Scarborough as "Psycho Joe" and called Brzezinski "low I.Q. Crazy Mika," while asserting that she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when he previously encountered her at Mar-a-Lago. The hosts responded with an op-ed in The Washington Post, in which they described White House officials telling them that the president would kill a pending National Enquirer article if they apologized to Trump for their coverage of him. The president's tweets received criticism from many Republican lawmakers, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senators John McCain, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, Lindsey Graham, and Lisa Murkowski.
Trump has also alluded to an incident from 2001. On July 20, 2001, while Scarborough was in Washington, D.C., one of his aides was found dead on the floor of his congressional office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. An autopsy determined that an undiagnosed heart-valve irregularity had caused the 28-year-old to lose consciousness, fall, and hit her head on the edge of a desk the day before. Speculation developed about the death, often connecting it with Scarborough's resignation from Congress, announced in May. The idea that Scarborough was involved in the death was promoted by publisher Markos Moulitsas and by filmmaker Michael Moore, who registered the domain name JoeScarboroughKilledHisIntern.com. Since 2017, Trump has raised this debunked theory and has called for another investigation. "It's remarkable that we have a president who is trying to have someone prosecute the person he considers to be his chief critic in the media," Scarborough responded in 2020. "That's what Putin does. That's what Orban does. That's what autocrats have been doing for centuries."
In August 2019, Scarborough drew criticism after posting conspiracy-driven tweets about the death of Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier multimillionaire and convicted sex offender. Scarborough tweeted: "A guy who had information that would have destroyed rich and powerful men's lives ends up dead in his jail cell. How predictably...Russian."
In January 2021, Scarborough excoriated the Capitol Hill Police for having enabled the attack at the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters. He claimed a double standard that had the perpetrators been either black or Muslim, they likely would have been dealt with more harshly.
In May 2007, Scarborough became one of the rotating hosts auditioning for the slot vacated by Imus in the Morning on MSNBC. Scarborough, with his morning show, won the slot permanently in July 2007.
Morning Joe is a weekday MSNBC morning news and talk show, airing from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern Time. It features Joe Scarborough providing both enterprise reporting and discussion on the news of the day in a panel format with co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist. The show features in-depth discussions that help drive the day's political conversation.
Scarborough has covered presidential elections and conventions. In 2015 he interviewed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and abruptly ended the interview, but resumed it after commercial break. During the 2016 election, Scarborough criticized the Democratic National Committee for trying to protect Hillary Clinton and ensure she received the Democratic party's presidential nomination, calling the DNC "rigged" against voters. 2017 marked the program's 10th year on air.
According to Nielsen ratings in 2016, Morning Joe delivered MSNBC's biggest total viewer and demo audiences in the time period ever and beat third-place CNN in both categories. This marked Morning Joe's seventh straight year topping CNN in total viewers. Scarborough also is a regular guest on NBC and MSNBC news programs and has appeared on Meet the Press numerous times. In April 2012, Scarborough guest-hosted Meet the Press.
On December 8, 2008, Scarborough and Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski began hosting a two-hour late-morning radio show on WABC (770 AM) in New York City, replacing 12-year veteran host John Gambling. On April 26, 2010, the radio show was placed on "hiatus", which Scarborough said was to redevelop its format into a new three-hour show. The show never returned.
Scarborough released his first book, Rome Wasn't Burnt in a Day: the Real Deal on how Politicians, Bureaucrats, and other Washington Barbarians are Bankrupting America, on October 4, 2005.
In his second book, The Last Best Hope, released on June 9, 2009, Scarborough outlined a plan to help guide conservatives back to a political majority after their defeats in the 2006 midterm elections and the 2008 presidential election.
On November 12, 2013, Scarborough released his third book, The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics—and Can Again.
Scarborough released his debut EP, Mystified, on June 23, 2017. A music video for the title track of the new wave-inspired EP was also released on the same day. Scarborough planned to release a new EP every month for the following four years.
In 1986, Scarborough married Melanie Hinton. The couple had two sons and divorced in 1999. While interviewing Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in June 2005, Scarborough expressed concerns about the possibility that one of his sons may have suffered vaccine damage (See Thimerosal controversy). Scarborough said, "My son, born in 1991, has a slight form of autism called Asperger's. When I was practicing law and also when I was in Congress, parents would constantly come to me and they would bring me videotapes of their children, and they were all around the age of my son or younger. So, something happened in 1989."
In October 2001, Scarborough married his second wife, Susan Waren, a former aide to Florida governor Jeb Bush and also a former congressional committee staffer. Their daughter was born in August 2003; their son was born in May 2008. Scarborough and Waren were divorced in January 2013.
As of 2016[update], Scarborough resides in New Canaan, Connecticut, an affluent suburb of New York City. In early 2017, during a trip to Antibes, France, he became engaged to his co-host Mika Brzezinski. The couple married on November 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C., in a ceremony officiated by U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings.
- Gavel, Doug. "MSNBC'S Morning Joe Hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski Join Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics as Fellows". Harvard Kennedy School. The President and Fellows of Harvard College. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
- "The 2011 TIME 100". TIME. April 21, 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2012.
- Miller, Jeff (May 10, 2011). "Recognizing the Life of George Francis Scarborough". Congressional Record Online. Government Publishing Office. p. E840. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
- "Scarborough, Charles Joseph". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 18, 2006.
- Liner notes Dixon Mills, "Calling on Robert E. Lee" CD 1992 SRS records Inc.
- Michael Barone, Richard E. Cohen, The Almanac of American Politics, National Journal Press, 2002, pages 374–76.
- 2 abortion crusaders meet - and 1 is dead, Chicago Tribune, March 19, 1993
- William Booth (March 11, 1993). "Doctor Killed During Abortion Protest". The Washington Post. p. A01.
- Kushner, Harvey (2003). Encyclopedia of Terrorism. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan: SAGE Publications. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-7619-2408-1. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
In 1993 ... Griffin became the first activist to murder an abortion provider, ushering in a new level of terrorism in the abortion wars.
- Berke, Richard L. "The 1994 Campaign: The South", "The New York Times, October 24, 1994.
- Barrett, Wayne." "Bruise Brother" The Village Voice, April 1, 2008.
- Griffin, Laura. "Area lawyer hired in clinic killing," St. Petersburg Times, April 13, 1993; Kaczor, Bill "Abortion an Unmentionable Issue in District Hit by Anti-Abortion Violence", Associated Press, November 2, 1994
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- "Our Campaigns - FL District 01 Race - Nov 07, 2000". Ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- 2000 U.S. House Ratings Archived June 25, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "MSNBC Host Highlights Blackburn Institute's 20th Anniversary Symposium". University of Alabama. August 12, 2014. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
- Shoop, Tom (May 1, 1995). "Not Dead Yet (5/1/95) – www.GovernmentExecutive.com". Govexec.com. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
- "Is the GOP Budget Revolution Lost?". CATO. July 25, 1997. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
- "Congressional Budget Resolutions: Historical Information" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. January 29, 2010. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
- "104TH Congress 2D Session H. R. 2979" (PDF). Frwebgate.access.gpo.fov. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 731" (XML). Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
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- Mary McGrory (July 1, 2001). "Captive Parents". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 4, 2008.
- "Roll Call: See How Your Representative Voted". December 20, 1998. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
- Designating Majority Membership on Certain Standing Committees of the House (House of Representatives – January 4, 1995)
- Election of Majority Members to Certain Standing Committees of the House (House of Representatives – January 7, 1997); Election of Majority Members to Certain Standing Committees of the House (House of Representatives – January 9, 1997); Election of Majority Members to Certain Standing Committees of the House (House of Representatives – January 21, 1997)
- Election of Majority Members to Certain Standing Committees of the House – (House of Representatives – January 6, 1999); Election of Majority Members to Certain Standing Committees of the House – (House of Representatives – March 11, 1999)
- Election of Members to Certain Standing Committees of the House – (House of Representatives – January 6, 2001)
- "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Kaczor, Bill (May 21, 2001). "U.S. Rep Scarborough to resign". The Florida Times-Union. Archived from the original on April 24, 2013.
- "'Scarborough Country' for March 9 – Morning Joe – NBC News". NBC News. October 3, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
- Jeremy Wallace (February 9, 2009). "Morning Joe or Sen. Joe". Sarasota Herald Tribune. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
- Vigdor, Neil (June 16, 2015). "Scarborough ponders return to politics after MSNBC - Connecticut Post". Ctpost.com. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
- Cummings, William (July 11, 2017). "'Morning Joe' Scarborough is leaving the Republican Party". USA Today.
- "Independent News". Pensapedia. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
- "Scarborough Country". NBC News. Retrieved September 27, 2014.
- Charles Joseph Scarborough Archived October 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "Members Of President's Council on the 21st Century Workforce Announced Council To Provide Information, Advice To The President On 21st Century Workforce Issues 03/21/2002]". Dol.gov. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
- Weprin, Alex (September 24, 2007). "MSNBC Makes It Official: Dan Abrams, Morning Joe Join Lineup". Next TV. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- Scarborough, Joe (August 9, 2016). "The GOP must dump Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
- Dale, Daniel (June 29, 2017). "'Bleeding badly from a face-lift': Donald Trump just tweeted sexist insults at a female TV host". Toronto Star.
- Donald J. Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (June 29, 2017). "I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came." (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 29, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Donald J. Trump [@realDonaldTrump] (June 29, 2017). "...to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 29, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Brzezinski, Mika; Scarborough, Joe; Brzezinski, Mika; Scarborough, Joe (June 30, 2017). "Donald Trump is not well". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- Daniella Diaz. "GOP lawmakers blast Trump's 'Morning Joe' tweets". CNN. Retrieved August 24, 2017.
- Baker, Peter; Astor, Maggie (May 26, 2020). "Trump Pushes a Conspiracy Theory That Falsely Accuses a TV Host of Murder". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "McCarthy sidesteps questions on Trump's baseless conspiracy theory involving Joe Scarborough". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- "Romney defends Joe Scarborough, staffer's widower: 'Enough already'". The Hill. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- "Stories from 2001 related to Scarborough aide Klausutis' death - Fort Walton Beach, FL". Northwest Florida Daily News. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- Sarkis, Stephanie (May 24, 2020). "Why Trump Falsely Accuses Scarborough Of A Death". Forbes.
- Adair, Bill (August 28, 2001). "State: Aide found dead had said she felt ill". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on October 16, 2008. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
- McLaughlin, Tom (August 7, 2001). "Examiner: Klausutis' death was accidental". Northwest Florida Daily News. p. A1. Archived from the original on November 23, 2002. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- Bell, Gabriel (November 29, 2017). "Trump's latest bogus conspiracy theory: Did Joe Scarborough murder his aide?". Salon.
- McLaughlin, Tom (December 11, 2017). "Trump tweet dredges up conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough aide". NWF Daily News.
- Mirkinson, Jack (June 17, 2015). "Remember When a Dead Intern Was Found in Joe Scarborough's Office?". Gawker.
- Pittman, Craig (May 24, 2020). "Florida family grieves as Trump spreads debunked conspiracy theory to attack MSNBC host". The Washington Post.
- Moreau, Jordan (May 24, 2020). "Trump Calls for Investigation Into Unfounded Joe Scarborough Murder Conspiracy". Variety.
- "Scarborough criticized for retweeting account claiming 'no way' Epstein's death was suicide". The Hill. August 12, 2019.
- "MSNBC News Host Joe Scarborough Criticized For Tweeting Conspiracy Theories Following Jeffrey Epstein's Apparent Suicide". Newsweek. August 10, 2019.
- 'You opened the f---ing doors for 'em!': Joe Scarborough tears into Capitol Police over flimsy security and racial double standards
- "Morning Joe celebrating its fifth birthday". MSNBC.com. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- "Joe Scarborough cuts off Trump: 'You can't just talk'". Playbook. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- "Morning Joe Panel Says DNC Rigging Primary for Hillary Clinton". Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- "MSNBC Delivers Most-Watched Year Ever". NBC Media Village. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
- "MTP Guest Hosts for Sunday April 1". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- "Joe Scarborough & Mika Brzezinski Begin Radio Show Monday". TV Newser. December 5, 2008. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008.
- Stelter, Brian (December 5, 2008). "TV Decoder: 'Morning Joe' Hosts Add Radio to Routine". The New York Times.
- "Tom Brokaw is Joe & Mika's First Radio Guest". TV Newser. December 8, 2008. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008.
- Hinckley, David (April 26, 2010). "Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski take 'brief hiatus' from radio show to develop new program". Daily News. New York.
- "Rome wasn't burnt in a day". NBC News. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Gillespie, Nick (July 12, 2009). "Book Review – 'The Last Best Hope – Restoring Conservatism and ..." New York Times. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- Scarborough, Joe (November 12, 2013). "The Right Path". Random House. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- Scarborough, Joe (November 24, 2020). "Saving Freedom". Harper Collins. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
- Ernst, Douglas (June 23, 2017). "Joe Scarborough releases 'Mystified' music video: 'TrumpWorld Culture on the Skids'". The Washington Times. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
- O'Neal, Sean (June 20, 2017). "MSNBC's Joe Scarborough finally dropping his debut EP". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
- "CNN 1998 Election Biography". Cnn.com. April 9, 1963. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
- "A coverup for a cause of Autism? – Morning Joe – NBC News". MSNBC. June 22, 2005. Retrieved May 22, 2011.
- "Joe Scarborough and Susan Waren divorce in January 2013". tmz.com. Retrieved March 16, 2014.
- "Joe Scarborough speaks at New Canaan Republicans' dinner". Ncadvertiser.com. April 12, 2016. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
- Firozi, Paulina (May 4, 2017). "'Morning Joe' co-hosts Scarborough and Brzezinski are engaged". TheHill. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
- Birnbaum, Emily (November 25, 2018). "Brzezinski and Scarborough tie the knot in secret wedding ceremony". TheHill. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Campaign contributions made by Joe Scarborough
- OnTheIssues page for Congressional terms
- American Politics Journal
- Chris Matthews Interviews Joe Scarborough on Hardball 06/09/09
- Matt Lauer interviews Joe Scarborough on The Today Show 06/09/09[dead link]
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 1st congressional district