Chris Matthews on Nevada Results: ‘Trump Is the Name’ for the GOP’s ‘Pain’ in Obama Presidency

Offering his initial thoughts on the NBC News projection just after midnight Wednesday that Donald Trump would win the Nevada caucuses, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews sought to diagnose Trump’s rise as going back to before the 2010 midterm elections and resulting in a 2016 in which “Trump is the name” for the “pain” of conservatives.

Matthews briefly harkened back to the cable network’s coverage of the South Carolina GOP primary from Saturday night before touting his supposedly astute insight of the party about how Trump’s rise “began before the 2010 election and what you saw was this growing, growing anger at the country's political establishment” and the tea party.

He continued by flaunting his interpretation of the GOP over the past decade:

All these members of Congress that came to Washington to vote against people like John Boehner. When you see the impotence of the Republican establishment tonight again what you've been seeing that for years now. People like John Boehner were thrown out of their jobs. People like Paul Ryan are not going to be powerful. What's powerful is the anger at the grassroots.

Translating that back to what transpired in the Silver State, Matthews reached the crux of his argument: “Trump is the name for their pain The right wing, the angry people of this country have been trying to find a leader. They've found one. His name's Donald Trump. He is the name for their pain.”

“When he gets out there and makes fun of people's faces, of their politics, of their low energy, their very beings, their weakness, it's always their weakness he makes fun of. He is expressing the anger of this large group of Americans,” he added. 

The relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s The Place for Politics 2016 on February 24 can be found below.

MSNBC’s The Place for Politics 2016
February 24, 2016
12:04 a.m. Eastern

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Chris Matthews, watching and listening with the rest of us, Chris, in addition to everything we've said tonight, this is a candidate who is incredibly media savvy about when and where to appear. Last time he did this during Saturday night's victory celebration, he had already sampled the analysis, reporting on his victory, he already had his critiques ready. He watches an insane amount of especially television coverage, especially the cable networks and is usually ready with his rebuttal all in a piece with his victory. 

CHRIS MATTHEWS: You nailed it pretty correctly. In fact, last Saturday night, we were all together, I pointed out along with Lawrence O'Donnell that if you added up all the opposition to Trump, if they all were peeled off from Bush and the rest of them, and all went over to someone like Rubio, that that would be a big challenge to Trump. Well, he didn't like that analysis and fair enough. I still think that's an analysis that is at least arithmetically correct. However, what he knew perhaps then at least certainly beginning to be true now is they aren't getting together. There is not some coalescing of the opposition to Trump. What you’re seeing tonight is to me I've said this before. This didn't begin with Trump. This began before the 2010 election and what you saw was this growing, growing anger at the country's political establishment. It took root in the tea party, but of course it was bigger than that. All these members of Congress that came to Washington to vote against people like John Boehner. When you see the impotence of the Republican establishment tonight again what you've been seeing that for years now. People like John Boehner were thrown out of their jobs. People like Paul Ryan are not going to be powerful. What's powerful is the anger at the grassroots. You're seeing it tonight. Against these political establishment and more and more against the Republican establishment which is almost defeated now. So Trump is the name for their pain. The right wing, the angry people of this country have been trying to find a leader. They've found one. His name's Donald Trump. He is the name for their pain. When he gets out there and makes fun of people's faces, of their politics, of their low energy, their very beings, their weakness, it's always their weakness he makes fun of. He is expressing the anger of this large group of Americans that's not a majority, it's not perhaps even — I'll stick to this point — not even a majority of the Republican Party if you count them all as citizen, but as the active part of the Republican Party. Just like Bernie Sanders is the passionate left. He's the passionate right and boy, he is rolling over them. Bernie is still in a fight with Hillary. This guy looks like he's won the fight tonight again. 

WILLIAMS: Chris Matthews, thank you.

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