Not a relaxed cup of ‘Morning Joe’ for Malloy

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy mixed it up with Joe Scarborough a bit today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” accusing the show of demonizing unions and letting off governors and legislatures who let their states’ finances deteriorate.

“We weren’t demonizing unions here,” Scarborough said, getting prickly as he recounted criticizing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for continuing to attack collective bargaining after unions offered major concessions.

“You did get to that point at the end,” said Malloy, who appeared by satellite from the studios of NBC30 in West Hartford.

But the governor ended his 12-minute conversation on a softer note, pointing out that he and his wife, Cathy, will be meeting Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski at an event at the Hartford Public Library in April. Brzezinski, by the way, sided with Malloy on the demon issue.

Yes, our governor, who loves a good argument, can turn on the charm.

“We’ll see you up there,” Scarborough said, smiling.

The show introduced Malloy by playing a clip from earlier in the show of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who panned Malloy’s proposed tax increases and promised he’ll be “waiting for Connecticut jobs at the border.”

“He’s got to read the governor’s owners manual,” Christie said.

Ouch. You don’t think Christie read Malloy’s description of him as “bombastic” in the recent New York Times piece, do you?

Malloy didn’t take the bait, mildly replying that “Chris Christie has to do what’s best for his state, and I have to do what’s best for my state.”

The governor also was greeted with a graphic showing that Connecticut, according to the Tax Foundation, has the 47th worst tax climate, better only than California, New York and, yes, New Jersey.

Scarborugh ended the show by complimenting Malloy: “I learned that governor of Connecticut is a fighter.”

Another panelist, Mark Halperin, approvingly called him “feisty,” maybe as feisty as Christie.

And feisty is good TV.