"I hate doing things by race, but we do," insisted Chris Matthews by way of apology, almost, to Hillary Clinton in a townhall discussion aired tonight on MSNBC. The Hardball host said this as he was rattling through exit polling data that showed her rival Bernie Sanders did better with white voters while she commands a vast majority of black voters in primary contests.
But of course, as even perhaps the most casual fans of NewsBusters are aware, race and ethnicity are recurring mental occupations with Mr. Matthews. Here's just a sample from our archive:
- In August 2010, Matthews demanded a Republican congressman answer whether the GOP opposed Obama because he was black.
- In October 2012, my colleague Scott Whitlock noted Matthews's hypocrisy in tarring Sarah Palin as a racist for using the term "shuck and jive" when Matthews, in fact, has used it on air.
- Earlier this year, Matthews, long a vociferous hater of anti-Obama "birthers," seemed to come around on the matter when Ted Cruz was the target of birtherism.
- In January of this year, Matthews sneered "Who's going to watch a debate between the two Cuban guys?" referring to a debate Trump was threatened to boycott. Matthews apologized two days later.
- In January, Matthews voiced support, albeit tentative and qualified, for the notion of racial reparations to atone for antebellum slavery in the United States: "I do believe in reparations if you could figure out what it would be."
- Matthews has repeatedly alleged Republicans, particularly RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, are motivated to suppress the black vote.
- And lastly, this is a few years old now, but here's a "top 20" list of times Matthews called Obama critics racist.
Clinton Town Hall
March 14, 2016; 7:19 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let's talk about young people and their – even as old as their early 30s. People don't have phones, they don't have landlines. Look at the numbers for you though, in Michigan. Here it was, 80 percent of people under 30 voted for Senator Sanders. He also got 57 percent of whites. I hate doing things by race, but we do. And, what do you think happened there?