Annoyed Chris Matthews: How Dare Christie Call Abortion Murder?

An irritated Chris Matthews on Thursday lashed out at Chris Christie for referring to abortion as “murder.” In a live, post-debate edition of Hardball, Matthews couldn’t even wrap his mind around the concept, sputtering, “And, by the way, calling abortion murder? Under the law?  Is that what he’s talking about?” 

Talking to Michael Steele, Matthews scolded, “Do you think a guy who is running as an ex-prosecutor, a man of the law, referring to abortion as murder....to use that in regard to abortion, do you think that would make him even possible as a general election victor?” 

Steele retorted: 

MICHAEL STEELE: I do, Chris, on a number of levels. I mean, look at it this way, if you kill a fetus in the whom of a mother, you're be brought up not only in the death of that mother, but the death of the fetus. So murder does apply in that situation. It's just that with the term of the use abortion, that people don't want to go there. What Chris Christie did "was let's call the thing what it is." 

Matthews continued to complain: “Abortion is legal, but murder isn't.” 

Christie’s debate moment came when he lobbied for cutting off the funding of Planned Parenthood: “Let me tell you something, when you see thousands upon thousands upon thousands of children being murdered in the womb, I can't think of anything better than that."

A partial transcript of the exchange is below: 

Hardball
1/28/16
11:52

CHRIS MATTHEWS: And, by the way, calling abortion murder? Under the law?  Is that what he’s talking about? Would he try it as a murder case? This is a special edition of Hardball, the place for politics. 

...

12:22

MATTHEWS: Do you think a guy who is running as an ex-prosecutor, a man of the law, referring to abortion as murder, which is a legal term, of course, it's not about killing or taking of human life, which is an argument. But murder is a legal term in our country. To use that in regard to abortion, do you think that would make him even possible as a general election victor? With that kind of language with women in this country? 

Tell the Truth 2016

MICHAEL STEELE: I do, Chris, on a number of levels. I mean, look at it this way, if you kill a fetus in the whom of a mother, you're be brought up not only in the death of that mother, but the death of the fetus. So murder does apply in that situation. It's just that with the term of the use abortion, that people don't want to go there. What Chris Christie did "was let's call the thing what it is." And I think in a general election---  

MATTHEWS: But legally that's not what it is. 

STEELE: Well, legally it's not what it is. 

STEELE: Abortion is legal, but murder isn't. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the associate editor for the Media Research Center's NewsBusters.org site.