In the midst of the current news cycle’s fascination with Senate confirmation hearings and Donald Trump’s repeated attempts to utilize the “fake news” moniker as an insult for organizations he dislikes, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz appeared in a joint interview on Thursday’s Morning Joe. It proved to be a surreal experience for co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. “If I can hear Lindsey Graham say ‘Make America Great Again’ yesterday with a smile on his face, anything is possible,” Scarborough joked. Equally bemused, Brzezinski added: “The world is upside down.”
The all-too obvious references to the president-elect’s campaign slogan, and the two former candidates’ apparently diminished animosity for their previous election rival, was enough to spur the Morning Joe team and the viewers at home. Yet it was the realization that Graham once joked about Cruz being murdered on the Senate floor during the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 72nd Congressional Dinner last February that prompted the most awkward laughs. Mainly because, after his proclamation that “love is everywhere,” Graham took the opportunity to apologize to Cruz on television.
“I want to apologize to Ted for saying he should be killed on the Senate floor. I’m sorry, Ted,” Graham said with a smile on his face. In response, Cruz quipped “at least we’re not on the Senate floor now.” Whether the latter was a reference to the ongoing confirmation hearings or Cruz’s potentially seeking revenge remains to be seen. Even so, both men seemed jovial enough to be interviewed together.