Conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Friday said there was "inconsistency" because President Barack Obama has been forced to renounce a Democratic cable pundit's comments about Ann Romney but Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has not apologized after Rep. Allen West (R-FL) accused 81 House Democrats of belonging to the Communist Party.
In the past 24 hours, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and other Democrats have all spoken out in defense of Ann Romney after Democratic CNN contributor Hilary Rosen asserted that Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life."
But as Scarborough noted on Friday, no Republican -- including Romney -- has disputed West's recent claim that up to 81 House Democrats were secretly members of the Communist Party.
"When are we going to get the apology from Mitt Romney for Allen West, a congressman who compares -- or says 80 Democrats are Communists?" the MSNBC host asked Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan. "I'm not carrying the Democratic card right now, I'm just saying this seems a bit overblown."
"You've got the gender wars that have been going on for the past few weeks," Noonan explained. "And I wouldn't say it was the Republicans who started the gender wars, who started the whole trope of the war against women."
Scarborough then posed the question to former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele: "Shouldn't Mitt Romney distance himself from a sitting United States congressman who is connected to the Republican Party, who is connected to Mitt Romney, who is connected to the Washington establishment -- an elected member of Congress who said 78 to 81 Democrats are Communists?"
"I don't know," Steele stuttered. "I don't know because I don't think it's worth it!"
"You don't know if Mitt Romney should condemn a sitting congressman that says 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives are Communists?" Scarborough pressed.
"Well, I mean, why should he condemn them?" Steele replied.
"Why should he condemn them!" Scarborough exclaimed. "He's comparing 78 to 81 public servants in the Unites States House of Representatives -- are saying are part of a movement that were responsible for the death of over a 100 million people in the 20th century."
"The Hillary Rosen thing and the Allen West thing, they are two separate things," Noonan insisted. "I think it odd that you are connecting them."
"Here we have a cable news pundit that has shut down the political discourse over the past 24 hours, when a sitting United States congressman says something deeply, deeply offensive and no Republican has spoken out against that," Scarborough shouted. "Does nobody see there is a little bit on inconsistency here, Peggy? Do you distance yourself from Allen West's comments?"
"I don't have to distance myself, Joe," Noonan shot back. "You are being mischievous. ... [I]t did hearken back to an unfortunate time in our history when a senator from Wisconsin stood up and I believe there were 200 to 205 Communists in the State Department. It's silly. It's way past 50 years ago."
"I forget where we are," she added. "Look, the Democrats opened a front. They opened it mischievously about a month ago. They just got nailed for fighting in part of the front. Fine. Let it go."