On a Hardball panel that included MSNBC hosts Rita Cosby, Tucker Carlson, and Joe Scarborough -- but no progressives -- Scarborough called Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "very shrill" and said that "there is a shrillness in Hillary that comes out on TV whenever she gets excited about something."
On the February 10 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R-FL) -- host of MSNBC's Scarborough Country -- asserted that "there is a shrillness in [Sen.] Hillary [Rodham Clinton (D-NY)] that comes out on TV whenever she gets excited about something." Referring to a speech given by Clinton "a year ago," Scarborough added: "[E]very time her voice goes up, she gets very shrill, very un-Clinton-like, if you're talking about Bill Clinton."
Scarborough's remarks echo those of Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, who repeatedly described Clinton as "angry" on the February 5 broadcast of ABC's This Week:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (host): We're just about out of time, but before we go, I have to ask you a question about 2008 and the candidate that all the Democrats are talking about, Hillary Clinton. For the Republicans, is she the dream candidate or the Democrat you most dread?
MEHLMAN: George, one of the things I believe strongly in politics is when you run a derivative campaign, when you run a campaign saying it's not that person, you never win. We're going to focus on who our candidate's going to be, who's going to win. I'll say this, though. I don't think the American people if you look historically elect angry candidates. And whether it's the comments about the plantation or the worst administration in history, Hillary Clinton seems to have a lot of anger. And then when you look at the voting record, there's all this talk of a new Hillary Clinton. The fact is, 96 percent of the time she votes with the Democrats, voting on behalf of the Davos filibuster of [Supreme Court Justice] Sam Alito. I'm not sure that most Americans thought that made sense. Voting against [Chief Justice] John Roberts. I'm not sure most Americans thought that made sense. So there is a lot of talk about a new Hillary Clinton, but if you look at the record, it's a very left-wing record, it's a record where most Americans I don't think think reflects their values. And when you think of the level of anger, I'm not sure it's what Americans want.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You've got your talking points ready.
Scarborough appeared as part of a "Hardball Hotshots" panel that also featured Rita Cosby, who hosts MSNBC's Rita Cosby Live & Direct, and Tucker Carlson, the conservative host of MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson. The panel featured no progressives, and none of the participants disputed Scarborough's claims about Clinton's supposed "shrillness."
Hardball host Chris Matthews, who moderated the panel, also has a history of personal attacks on Clinton. For example, on the July 11, 2005, edition of Hardball, Matthews suggested that Clinton looked "more witchy" because she criticized the Bush administration's homeland security spending priorities the day after the July 7, 2005, London bombings.
From the February 10 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
SCARBOROUGH: You know, the thing is about Hillary Clinton, she is -- and just to follow up on what Rita said, she's a very interesting person. You know, conservatives love to hate her from a distance. I can tell you when I met her, she was a very charming person. Her husband, of course, extraordinarily charming, but there is a shrillness in Hillary that comes out on TV whenever she gets excited about something. We saw it this week when she was talking about the war on terror. We saw it, of course, when she was talking at the MLK rally at the church on Martin Luther King Day, and I remember that speech in Iowa she gave about a year ago at the Jackson-Jefferson dinner, where she was marching around, and every time her voice goes up, she gets very shrill, very un-Clinton-like, if you're talking about Bill Clinton, and she just doesn't translate the way her husband does. She doesn't compare favorably when she's standing next to him, and I think that will hurt her in the long run.