An offended Chris Matthews, on Thursday night's "Hardball," was so shocked by Sarah Palin's claim that there wasn't anybody to pray with on the McCain campaign, that he hurled multiple insults Palin's way, calling her, "a little scary," and asked if Palin thought McCain was, "the Anti-Christ?" Matthews was appalled by Palin's recent revelation that she had trouble finding someone to pray with before her vice presidential debate and the MSNBC host worried such talk about "The Deity in a political environment," wasn't "normal."
Matthews' guest panelists also joined in the fray as the Washington Post's Lois Romano declared, "I think it's bizarre and I think it's judgmental," and Mother Jones magazine's David Corn cackled it was "mean and catty." RNC chair Michael Steele was also knocked for a recent profession of faith, as Matthews blurted: "Why does everything sound like the '700 Club,' with this party now? I mean everything seems to be a religious discussion."
Matthews and his panel didn't just stop at insulting Palin's religious beliefs, they also belittled Palin for her hand gestures and attractiveness. Over video of Palin waving at a campaign rally Matthews ridiculed: "You know, doing that windshield wiper wave though is not serious. That's not a serious wave. I'm sorry that's not what you do when you want to lead the free world. That's, that's more like, 'I'm a celebrity and people like me.'
And just before that snide comment from Matthews, Romano and Corn dismissed Palin for her looks:
LOIS ROMANO: Look I predict that she's going to be Dan Quayle.
ROMANO: All the way through.
DAVID CORN: He was pretty good-looking too.
The following are all the lowlights from the March 26, edition of "Hardball":
CHRIS MATTHEWS PREVIEWING SEGMENT: Okay I gotta ask you something that's really interesting. Do you think God belongs in American politics? I mean as per, not moral issues, ‘cause everything is sort of a moral issue. War and peace certainly, capital punishment, guns. There's a lot of moral aspects to a lot of things. Do you like this Sarah Palin always talking about – we're gonna talk about it in the next segment, but I'm gonna bring it up now because it fascinates me. She knocks the McCain campaign because she didn't have any body in the campaign to pray with. That is an amazing public statement to me. And then you've got Michael Steele, who seems like a decent guy saying he'll run for president if God wants him to. Are we hearing whispers? I mean this is a little bit theocratic isn't it? A little scary?
TODD HARRIS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There's a lot of God references.
MATTHEWS: Why, why God playing a role in, "I didn't have anybody to pray with?" And that's a knock against the McCain campaign?
MATTHEWS: Is this good for American politics? We have no religious test. I mean I'm, I'm really offended as a Roman Catholic to have arguments about church, you know, doctrine and moral philosophy. Fine, we should debate it all the time and think about it and care about it, but arguing about it now, in secular newspapers? People taking shots at other Catholics and saying they're not good Catholics in secular newspapers. I think it's the wrong venue. "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and God the things that are God." I think we're crossing the line with this stuff. Just my thought.
MATTHEWS: Is he the Anti-Christ, I mean what, she's portraying him as some ungodly figure in which a campaign, a national campaign, where all the people surrounding her, and she couldn't find anybody that shared her Christianity. Is that what she's saying?
MATTHEWS TEASING SEGMENT: Up next Sarah Palin is back. I want to give you the full quote from her, let her speak for herself. I hope this sounds good. We've got the audio. She is really talking, I think, a lot about the Deity in a political environment. And I don't think it's normal. We'll be right back.
MATTHEWS: Let's take a listen now to the governor of Alaska, she took another shot at McCain and the whole campaign, in fact, at a recent speech up there to the north.
SARAH PALIN: It was the night of the vice presidential debate against Biden. So I'm getting ready to go out there on stage and before any big thing, I pray. And I ask for God's wisdom, his strength, and everything else. I'm dedicated to God, and ask him to lift me up. So I'm looking around for somebody to pray with. I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra. Well, and the McCain campaign, love ‘em, you know, there are a lot of people around me, but nobody that I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray with. So-"
MATTHEWS: What do you make of that Lois? "I couldn't find anybody to pray with." It just seems like you don't even need to talk like this.
LOIS ROMANO, WASHINGTON POST: I think it's bizarre and I think it's judgmental and why did she need to pray with any one? Why couldn't she just pray by herself? You know prayer and religion are very private things. I think she was clearly pandering to the only base she has, which is the religious right. She just formed a PAC. And this is the way she gets news.
DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES MAGAZINE: I remember she was talking there to a meeting of Republicans. So she was dissing John McCain before Republicans. And a lot of McCain aides who worked, who worked with her on the campaign, who are very offended by this. They were around. They say, "Hey I would've prayed with her easily." I mean it was a mean and catty thing to say. I think the big point it shows is that she's not getting good political advice. She's up in Alaska. There have been a lot of Republican consultants and advisers down in Washington who've tried to call, call her and give her some strategic advice. They've all been told, "No thank you, we'll handle it from here." And if this is the best advice they're giving to go out and talk about not being able to pray with John McCain's campaign aides? I mean I don't see the point.
ROMANO: Look I predict that she's going to be Dan Quayle.
ROMANO: All the way through.
CORN: He was pretty good-looking too.
MATTHEWS: Ha, ha!
ROMANO: He was good looking and he, and he, and the right-
MATTHEWS: Well she's very attractive, obviously. Yeah.
ROMANO: -loved him, but he fell off the table when he went to run for president.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about this blaming the media-
ROMANO: Wah, wah, wah.
MATTHEWS: -which I don't, this isn't "Reliable Source here. I'm not a media critic. You know but I wonder whether that works either. But does it, is it once again, as you said David, she's working a niche?
MATTHEWS: She's working the fringe.
ROMANO: She's pandering.
MATTHEWS: And they believe the media is the enemy. And it may be in some cases but, and may be in a lot of cases, but the fact is that, you know, [over video of Palin waving] doing that windshield wiper wave though is not serious. That's not a serious wave.
CORN: Ha, ha, ha!
ROMANO: Ha, ha, ha!
MATTHEWS: I'm sorry that's not what you do when you want to lead the free world. That's, that's more like, "I'm a celebrity and people like me."
MATTHEWS: Here's another Republican, sorry, Michael Steele, again with the God question, was asked if he'd consider running for president. Let's take a listen.
MICHAEL STEELE: Consider it if the opportunity was there and it was right. But, you know, God has a way of revealing stuff to you and making it real for you through others. And if that's part of the plan it'll be the plan. We may have this conversation in eight, 10, 12 years and you'll sit back and you'll play the tape back and say, "Oh look at what you said." But it'll be because that's where God wants me to be at that time.
MATTHEWS: Why does everything sound like the "700 Club," with this party now? I mean everything seems to be a religious discussion.