Chris Matthews, who once giddily speculated that "at some point, somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet" into Rush Limbaugh's head that will "explode," on Thursday called for civility in the political discourse. Speaking of the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado, Matthews lectured, "We need to remember that we don't despise each other, but we do despise, maybe, the arguments that are thrown up by the other side."
Matthews, who, on another occasion, called Limbaugh "evil," conceded, "I know that sounds odd coming from me." He added, "I freely admit that there are people who really get to me, but I also know that if I found them lying in a ditch somewhere, say after say a traffic accident, I'd do everything I could do care for them."
On October 13, 2009, Matthews ranted about Limbaugh, "Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet. But we'll be there to watch. I think he's Mr. Big, I think Yaphet Kotto. Are you watching, Rush?"
He later apologized.
On June 22, 2011, Matthews trashed Limbaugh as "evil" for spreading climate change "lies."
On June 10, 2011, the same man now calling for tolerance, bashed Newt Gingrich as "evil" and mocked the Republican as looking like "the devil."
A transcript of the July 26 segment can be found below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this. I think all great events have great impacts. This country has never gotten over the Kennedy assassination. I haven't. And for younger Americans, especially them, 9/11 still haunts. Well, this horror in Aurora, Colorado, continues to penetrate our country's feelings. I think its had a stronger impact on this country than all the words thrown back and forth in this presidential election this campaign and this summer. I think people feel for each other in ways that don't come across in the political back and forth. They care about each other in ways that don't get displayed when we talk about red states and blue states. I think we need to hold on to those moments of national unity, like this one, that keep them in our minds and hearts when the debate heatens [sic] up and heightens.
We need to remember that we don't despise each other, but we do despise, maybe, the arguments that are thrown up by the other side. I know that sounds odd coming from me. I freely admit that there are people who really get to me, but I also know that if I found them lying in a ditch somewhere, say after say a traffic accident, I'd do everything I could do care for them. I know this. And you know this about yourself. We are all God's children. And that is a fact, one that we need to remind ourselves of. One that comes back to remind us in times of we take a hit, suffering a horror together like we've done ever since the day that Aurora, Colorado, flashed across the headlines and ventured into our hearts. That's Hardball for now. Thanks for being with us.