MSNBC Chides Christie for Mistreating Obama, Fiorina for Hitting Clintons on Marriage

MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews teamed with guests April Ryan and Steve McMahon early Friday morning to lambaste Republican presidential candidates Chris Christie for supposedly being disrespectful to President Obama during Thursday’s GOP debate and Carly Fiorina for arguing that she likes to spend time with her husband compared to Bill and Hillary Clinton. 

Before Ryan and McMahon joined Matthews, he made a passing reference to his disgust with Christie following a soundbite in which the New Jersey Governor referred to the President as “a petulant child” and promised “to kick your rear end out of the White House come this fall.”

“We're going to kick your rear end out of the White House? Talk about declining deviancy downward,” exclaimed Matthews.

In the 12:00 a.m. Eastern hour when American Urban Radio Network’s Ryan and longtime Democratic strategist McMahon were with Matthews, the topic of Christie returned when Matthews (who’s always up for a bashing of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney) blurted out that he “didn’t like the way they treated the President.”

Ryan agreed, firing back that “it's not about the person, it's about the presidency” and claimed that in the three presidential administrations she’s covered: “In Bill Clinton’s worst day, we never heard anything like that. In George W. Bush's worst day, we didn't hear those kind of things.”

Matthews added that he didn’t recall “Bob Dole ever said I'm going to kick Bill Clinton’s butt out of — or Bill Clinton never said it about George Bush senior” to which Ryan lamented: “We're now seeing the old Chris Christie reemerge because he's trying to distance himself from that picture where they were hugging after Sandy, but he's gone so far and he’s gone too far.”

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McMahon only added fuel to the fire when he tied Christie to the larger GOP and decried the party as enabling rhetoric that he’s deemed out of line:

I mean, the Republicans seem to be rewarded disproportionately on the basis of how personal, how out — outrageous, how incendiary the claims are that they can make about the President of the United States. This has been true for sometime and they get reward for it.

As for Fiorina, Matthews whined: “Did you see Carly Fiorina tonight in the undercard what she said about Hillary Clinton? “Unlike another woman in this case, I actually love spending time with my husband.” What has that got to do with running for president?”

Ryan immediately stepped up to the plate for the Clintons and relayed from first-hand experience that she “really believe[s]” that Bill and Hillary Clinton “are a couple” and scolded Fiorina for invoking their marriage: “So, does Carly Fiorina know what's going on? You never know what's going on with a married couple.”

Before closing out the segment, Matthews took one last stroll on his high horse by paraphrasing something he read recently from Charles Dickens: 

Actually, you don't know what's going on with any other person in life. You don’t know anyone else’s spirit. Anyway, but Charles Dickens said that, I just read that. No, he said you don't know what's going on with the person next to you. You don’t know what’s in each other’s souls.

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Special Edition of Hardball in the 12:00 a.m. Eastern hour of January 15 can be found below.

MSNBC’s A Special Edition of Hardball
January 15, 2016
12:25 a.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I didn’t like the way they treated the President. 

APRIL RYAN: No.

MATTHEWS: Chris Christie with his, whatever you want to call it, saying I'm going to kick his butt or something like that out of the White House. 

RYAN: Like a petulant child, as well and that was the first — I was like wait a minute and then, as you said, kicking him out of the White House? First of all, it's not about the person, it's about the presidency. In Bill Clinton and I’ve covered three Presidents, in Bill Clinton’s worst day, we never heard anything like that. In George W. Bush's worst day, we didn't hear those kind of things. 

MATTHEWS: I don't think Bob Dole ever said I'm going to kick Bill Clinton’s butt out of — or Bill Clinton never said it about George Bush senior. 

RYAN: We're now seeing the old Chris Christie reemerge because he's trying to distance himself from that picture where they were hugging after Sandy, but he's gone so far and he’s gone too far. 

DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST STEVE MCMAHON: It's either the old Chris Christie, which he may be, or it’s the new Republican Party. I mean, the Republicans seem to be rewarded disproportionately on the basis of how personal, how out — outrageous, how incendiary the claims are that they can make about the President of the United States. This has been true for sometime and they get reward for it. I mean, Ben Carson was created as a candidacy because he was basically rude and said outrageous things at a conservative conference about Barack Obama. 

RYAN: In front of the President. 

MCMAHON: In front of the President.

RYAN: But this was Chris Christie's shock and awe moment. He might have had the visual — I mean, people might — 

MATTHEWS: Did you see Carly Fiorina tonight in the undercard what she said about Hillary Clinton? “Unlike another woman in this case, I actually love spending time with my husband.” What has that got to do with running for president? 

RYAN: I've seen Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton together on numerous occasions, before this and during this. I really believe there's some kind of — they are together, they are a couple. So, does Carly Fiorina know what's going on? You never know what's going on with a married couple. 

MATTHEWS: Of course not. 

RYAN: Yeah, so does she know what’s going on?

MATTHEW: Actually, you don't know what's going on with any other person in life. 

RYAN: Exactly. 

MATTHEWS: You don’t know anyone else’s spirit.

RYAN: Exactly

MATTHEWS: Anyway, but Charles Dickens said that, I just read that. 

RYAN: Oh, good for you.

MATTHEW: No, he said you don't know what's going on with the person next to you. You don’t know what’s in each other’s souls.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is the Managing Editor of NewsBusters for the Media Research Center