On her Fox News program last night, host Megyn Kelly wanted guest Joe Scarborough, name partner in the MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” to answer a common gripe from her viewers: “They’re saying, ‘I don’t want to hear from him. He’s a faux conservative, he’s a [Republican in Name Only].”

Scarborough spent the segment professing his conservative bona fides:

• He said, “I love Sean Hannity. I love Rush.”

• He said, “I’m on the side of those candidates that’ve been critical of the Republican establishment in D.C., the Chamber Of Commerce and a lot of people who just wanted to be in charge, wanted to be in power. If we’re gonna be in power you can’t be big government Republicans. You know we passed the $7 trillion drug benefit plan when Bush was president, we didn’t pay for a dime of it.”

• He said, “I’ve been a small government conservative for a very long time.”

• To the charge that he’s not a real conservative, Scarborough protested that he doesn’t “hear” that complaint. “I got to say, you keep saying that,” Scarborough said to Kelly. “I just don’t hear that. I’ve been to New Hampshire, I’ve been to South Carolina.”

After Scarborough insisted on his consistency — “I’m conservative when Republicans are in the White House; I’m conservative when Democrats are in the White House,” he said — Kelly made the appropriate point that he himself was sounding like a candidate for the White House. “No. I’m happy where I am right here,” responded the MSNBC host, who came on the show to peddle his book “The Right Path.

Where Scarborough really sounded like a politician was at the interview’s end, when Kelly made mention of “The Right Path” and noted what a big audience Fox News marshals. At that point, Scarborough issued his thanks for the promotion, directly addressing Roger Ailes, the top boss at Fox News and a longtime force in Republican Party politics: “I wanna thank you, Roger. I love you, Roger.”

(h/t Politico)

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.