MSNBC host Joe Scarborough recently created a Twitter trend by labeling Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “Moscow Mitch,” but Ben Folds turned it up a notch Thursday by adding a piano, a guitar and some drums.
“It’s going to be an instrumental piece,” he told a New York City audience at Pier 17. “What I want to do is put a little cool stutter into it, like, ‘my-my-my-my-my-my Sharona.’ So what we’ll do is we’ll go, ‘mo-mo-mo-Moscow Mitch.’”
The former Ben Folds Five frontman enjoyed a singalong with the audibly enthusiastic crowd, topped with a peppy harmonica solo and a mixture of laughs and cheers from fans.
Scarborough debuted his nickname for the senator last week during his “Morning Joe” broadcast, incensed over McConnell’s decision to kill two election security bills amid the ongoing threat of Russian meddling in U.S. elections.
“All Republicans are all saying Russia is subverting American democracy and Moscow Mitch won’t even let the Senate take a vote on it,” he said. “That is un-American.”
The name immediately caught fire on social media in the form of a hashtag as users accused McConnell of treasonous behavior.
On Friday, MSNBC aired a snippet of an interview with Folds ― set to air in the coming days ― in which the musician credits Scarborough with having inspired his new tune.
“That is great lyric writing,” he told Scarborough.
Last month, McConnell quashed a House proposal to authorize $775 million to bolster state election systems and require paper ballots. He also blocked a separate measure that would have mandated that candidates, their campaign officials and their families alert federal authorities if offered aid by foreign sources.
McConnell’s move to stop the bills came just one day after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee and the intelligence committee about continuing Russian efforts to interfere in elections.
“Many more countries are developing the capability to replicate what the Russians have done,” he said. “They’re doing it as we sit here.”