Joe Scarborough, after being asked why he isn't the most logical choice as the Republican nominee for president, said he likes what he is right now.
The television and radio commentator and former Republican U.S. congressman from Florida was in Lexington on Wednesday to field questions from fans and autograph his new book, The Last Best Hope.
Scarborough and his co-host on MSNBC's Morning Joe show, Mika Brzezinski, talked about the book and the show to a crowd of about 200 at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. They touched on government spending, health care and war, keeping the audience's attention with humor, including impressions by Scarborough of former president Bill Clinton and TV commentator Chris Matthews.
Scarborough's book, said to offer a roadmap for the conservative movement in the 21st century, has been doing very well, with Republicans, Democrats and Independents buying it in equal numbers, he said.
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As part of his response to the question about running for president, Scarborough told the crowd that "the Republican party's got to figure out first what it's going to be when it grows up."
He had positive and negative things to say about politicians of various persuasions.
Former president Ronald Reagan's greatest political gift was his moderate temperament, Scarborough said. He said friends who say former secretary of state Colin Powell no longer belongs in the Republican party have a point.
Scarborough said he and Hillary Clinton did not like each other at all in the 1990s when she was the country's first lady. But he said he later saw Clinton as a kindred spirit who was exhausted by partisanship.
Referring to government spending, Scarborough said what drives him crazy about President Barack Obama is when the president says "we tried it their way, now we're going to do it our way."
After the biggest budget deficit in history under President George W. Bush, Obama says the country needs to spend more money — and the public should stand up and say "enough," he said.
He said rising health care costs are going to destroy the U.S. economy, and the focus of health care initiatives should be preventative care. Tort reform needs to be considered to curb malpractice suits. "We've got to retool the system," he said.
Before talking about politics and government, Scarborough told his audience, "I can actually say 'Go Big Blue.'" Both of his parents attended the University of Kentucky, and his father followed the career of former UK men's basketball coach Adolph Rupp, he said.
Scarborough promised he would come back to Lexington with his parents during basketball season and do a Morning Joe show here.