MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and his colleagues were up in arms Thursday morning after the second night of the Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, lashing out at the candidates for making former President Barack Obama a bigger target than Donald Trump.
Scarborough and his wife and co-host, Mika Brzezinski, marveled at the start of their show at Democrats like Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker going after the 44th president as they tried to score points against Joe Biden, the current front-runner.
The Obama administration took criticism during the debate for its deportations of illegal immigrants and ObamaCare, among other things, as Brzezinski quipped that "apparently Barack Obama is running for a third term ... and fellow Democrats are out in force to stop him ... while Donald Trump watches happily from the White House."
She noted former Attorney General Eric Holder's cautionary note to Democrats.
Scarborough expressed amazement that some candidates portrayed Obama as "more heartless than Donald Trump on immigration." He argued that Obama and ObamaCare remain wildly popular with the party's voters and criticized Democrats for deriding criticism of their far-left positions as "Republican talking points."
"Give me a break! What’s wrong with you people? You’re going up against Donald Trump, and you’re talking about defending ObamaCare as Republican talking points? Who is advising you?” he asked.
Later in the show, Rev. Al Sharpton agreed about the misguided nature of the criticism of Obama.
"This whole suicide mission of going after Barack Obama smells like desperation, and I think it certainly shows that some of them are just not ready for where they are," he said.
"You and I, Joe, have built a career taking shots at people, but we also know how to take a shot without throwing our mama in front of the bus," he said.
Biden was pulled quickly into battle with virtually every other candidate looking to score points by taking him out, and spent the better part of the night fighting off their withering attacks.
As he sought to avoid a repeat of last month's damaging clash with Harris, D-Calif. -- and indeed hit back at Harris' jabs, unlike last time, he faced the added challenge in Detroit from Booker, D-N.J.
The two senators tore into Biden's record on everything from health care to immigration to criminal justice reform -- as other candidates, including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, also took aim at the former veep.
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.