Joe Scarborough talks Chris Christie, Republican in-fighting

Will Chris Christie be the winning formula for the Republicans in 2016?

Joe Scarborough, host of "Morning Joe" on MSNBC, suggested on "CBS This Morning" that the New Jersey governor may have what it takes - a blend of conservatism and pragmatism that has appealed to the American public before.

"Chris Christie did a great job in a state that Barack Obama dominated," he said on "CTM," "and, again, the reason why is because Chris Christie figured out how to blend conservatism with pragmatism and he appealed to everybody. You know, Ronald Reagan won 49 states because he had the Ted Cruzes of the party and the Colin Powells of the party under the same big tent."

But can all of the Republicans get under same tent in the coming elections?

Scarborough, author of the new book "The Right Path: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics - and Can Again," said it's about winning and losing - and what the party wants to do. "As everybody knows, I'm an Alabama fan. There's a reason why Nick Saban keeps winning national championships because he obsesses on one thing - winning national championships," said Scarborough. "You win when you obsess about winning. You change America when you obsess about changing America. And we can't change America if we're having ideological fights within the party."

Scarborough suggests Republicans look back to when they won elections: "People like Reagan, Nixon ... and Ike figured out how to make conservatism connect with Middle America. They were pragmatic. They were conservative ideologically, but they were also pragmatic politically."

It's a strategy the Democrats also employed when they nominated Bill Clinton, Scarborough said. "People ask, I mean, has any party ever gone so far astray as the Republican Party is right now? Yes. Democrats did it, as you remember. They got clobbered every four years in the '80s and early '90s. It took them getting routed for 12 years before they finally said, 'You know what? We're going to get a southerner who's a Southern Baptist, who's conservative to moderate, and we're going to nominate him.'"

Looking ahead to 2016 on the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Scarborough said, isn't necessarily a lock for the nomination. "Everybody that is saying it's inevitable that she's going to be the nominee today was saying it was going to be inevitable in 2006, and then David Geffen talked to The New York Times and other Democrats started saying, 'I kind of agree with what he said.' I don't think that it's a fait accompli."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., would "excite true believers" on the campaign trail, Scarborough said. "We interviewed her during the Senate campaign ... and I turned to Mika (Brzezinski) halfway through the interview and said, 'She's about as good as I've seen.' She's like 'The Natural.'"

As for his own career, Scarborough said he plans to run for some office eventually. The former Florida congressman said his 10-year-old daughter has said he's not allowed to run until she's out of high school, but Scarborough said he's going to have to compromise with her. He said, "Eight years - I'm an old guy!"

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