Morning Joe, 12/5/12, 7:00 PM ET

Scarborough: Obama could stiff-arm GOP and win politically, but he shouldn't

Top Talkers: Is the White House ready to go over the fiscal cliff if the GOP won't agree to certain terms? Is the fiscal cliff THE defining issue of the...

Scarborough: Fiscal cliff is the issue of the president’s second term

Updated

How President Obama handles the fiscal cliff will come to define his second term, Joe Scarborough said Thursday morning.

Currently, the president is reaching out to the business community for support on his plan, as the New York Times’ Peter Baker laid out on Wednesday.

“I know that many of you have come down here to try to see, is there a way that we can break through the logjam and go ahead and get things done? And I’m here to tell you that nobody wants to get this done more than me,” Obama told leaders, as per Baker’s piece.

The Thursday Morning Joe panel took up the president’s move, and Scarborough advised the president against giving what he termed the “stiff-arm” to Republicans. As of now, President Obama has remained firm in his call to raise the tax rates on the country’s top earners.

“You look at every poll and the Republicans are getting absolutely hammered…The president could stiff-arm the GOP and he would win politically, but…this is the issue of his second term. This defines his second term. If he is defined as a guy that can’t find the middle ground, at the end of the day can’t strike the deal, historians aren’t going to go after Eric Cantor and a subcommittee chairman, they’re going to remember Barack Obama as the man who couldn’t follow through on his grand promise of 2004 and 2008…He could win politically, but the costs…would be tremendous not only to him but to the economy and our country.”

Scarborough: Fiscal cliff is the issue of the president's second term

Updated