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Joe Scarborough Slams Obama’s Fiscal Cliff Offer: Was It Necessary To Be So ‘Provocative’?

The Morning Joe crew continued to discuss the so-called fiscal cliff on Friday, this time tackling the opening offer President Barack Obama made — which was reported on Thursday night by The New York Times. Why, Joe Scarborough asked, did the White House open with a “provocative” deal that they knew would get a negative response?

The Times described the details of the proposal thusly: “$1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits.” Plus “the goal of finding $400 billion in savings from Medicare and other social programs to be worked out next year, with no guarantees.”

Scarborough expressed his incredulity at the offer, which the Times described as “loaded with Democratic priorities and short on spending cuts.” Noting Sen. Mitch McConnell‘s reaction to the proposal, he noted, “I would have laughed at the offer, too.”

It was a “nonstarter” and they knew it, Scarborough said — so, “why did the White House decide to have this as their opening volley when they knew the response would be a negative one that they drew?”

Richard Wolffe replied, “The question is, what’s the counteroffer, right? … There isn’t one.”

Taking a “hard line” is understandable, Scarborough said. But what isn’t understandable is why — when business leaders and the rest of the world are watching this issue so closely — it was “necessary for the president to be so provocative.”

Watch below, via MSNBC:

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