Chris Matthews in a special Sunday night Hardball slammed the south as racist and insisted that quoting Barack Obama is bigoted. An incredulous Matthews explained, "And topping it off, we heard Romney himself out here in Ohio today tying all this trash talk together, the President is bent on, get this, revenge." Of course, while talking to voters last week, the President actually said, "Voting is the best revenge."
In another appearance, on Sunday's Last Word, Matthews appeared totally unaware of the context "Well, where did this revenge come from? Where did that line come from?" [See video below.] On Hardball, Matthews insisted to Howard Fineman that most of the country would vote for Obama: "Well, what do you make of the geography, Howard?...The fact that the north, the west, the Midwest will all support Obama, but the south intensely dislikes him?"
The liberal host derided the movie 2016, dismissing it as "that twisted movie out there now that says the President is governed by some Kenyan, anti-colonial mind set."
Continuing to harp on the "revenge" comment (that he was ignorant of), Matthews said Romney's use of the line in an attack ad "fits so neatly into all the Dinesh D'Souza storyline, the whole rest of the stuff."
A transcript of the November 4 exchanges can be found below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: The closeness of this election tells you something about our country, how narrowly divided it. As you look at Democracy Plaza in Rockefeller Center in New York, where we will be on election night, consider the national polling. The north, Midwest and west back Obama. The south is with Romney, or, should I say, is against Obama. You can see this division as it works its way down from southwestern Pennsylvania, including part of Ohio, down through West Virginia. You see it in the appeals or, rather, the agitation that Romney and his forces are working in their ads and in their speeches. Donald Trump, who says the President is an illegal immigrant East Africa, now doing robocalls for Romney. John Sununu who calls the president lazy, keep taunting him as un-American. That twisted movie out there now that says the President is governed by some Kenyan, anti-colonial mind set. Like he's a Mau Mau or something out to kill white people. And topping it off, we heard Romney himself out here in Ohio today tying all this trash talk together, the president is bent on, get this, revenge.
MATTHEWS: I believe there's been a lot of it around the edges. I think Romney's responsible for it, even though he's been careful until today when he came out and said this campaign on Obama's side is being based on revenge, a call for revenge, which fits so neatly into all the Dinesh D'Souza storyline, the whole rest of the stuff. Your thoughts?
HOWARD FINEMAN: Well, not to mention the line that he used that we did a clip of about handing out checks.
FINEMAN: You know, the handing out checks is an old meme going back to the days of Ronald Reagan and before that, even back to the '70s. So I think that what interested me was that Michael told me just what a storm of hatred his own column unleashed today, which I think is very, very interesting. I think what's going on, on the fringes of the Republican side, and you can see it from the polling, there's more intensity on the Republican side. Not as many strong supporters of Romney as Obama, but those who are for Romney are very strong. But the irony is they're strong for him not because they like him, they're strong for Mitt Romney because they intensely dislike the President. And if you dig down to the bottom of that–
MATTHEWS: Well, what do you make of the geography, Howard? Howard? The geography here? The fact that the north, the west, the Midwest will all support Obama, but the south intensely dislikes him.
HOWARD FINEMAN: It's truly amazing.