May 3, 2010

Sen. Lamar Alexander tries to explain to David Gregory why he thinks Charlie Crist making an independent run for the Senate in Florida is destroying our democracy, but what Joe Lieberman did was okay in his book. This is some seriously twisted logic here. We'll see if he's still singing the same tune if Charlie Crist ends up winning that Senate seat.

GREGORY: We've had a lot of breaking news here, so--and still a lot of issues to get to. We'll get to as much as we can on a busy Sunday morning. I do want to start with politics.

Senator Alexander, you didn't get a commitment from the governor of Florida, who's now a Republican, to caucus with Republicans. And the leadership, of which you're a part, has said, "Thanks but no thanks." You don't want much association with Governor Crist at the moment.

ALEXANDER: Well, when he changed his mind, I changed my mind about him. I'm very disappointed by that. I mean, it really undermines the ability of people to participate in our, our, our politics. We've got a lot of alienated people in America right now. They want a place to have their say. So we say, "Come on in to our primary if you want to put a check and a balance on runaway government." So he did, and now he says, "I'm not doing so well by the rules, so I'm going to go another direction." That's what primaries are for.

GREGORY: But why--you know, when Senator Lieberman ran as an independent, the Democratic Party did not push him away. They said, "No, we're still, still--stay with us here." And yet the Republican leadership has said, "No thanks, Governor." You know, "We've changed our mind about you," as you just said. Is that a right strategy?

ALEXANDER: Senator Lieberman was different. First, he ran as an independent at the same time he was running as a Democrat. Second, he had a very strong principled opposition to the Iraq war. And third, the Democratic leadership in that case said that they didn't, they didn't support him. So Marco Rubio has shown to the people of Florida that he's a better candidate than Governor Crist, apparently, and Governor Crist has said, "I'm not doing too well by these rules. I think I'll try some other rules."

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