Host Chris Matthews interviewed White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan's mother, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, on Hardball last night. Strayhorn is running for Governor of Texas as an Independent. She is the current Comptroller of Texas and held the position as a Republican for over twenty years. She recently made the switch to an independent because she wanted to get rid of "partisan politics". Matthews, however, took her party change as a sign of anger with the Republican Party because it is "corrupt". Matthews brought up the subject of her party change many times during the interview and repeatedly tried to get her to say she left the party because of corruption, as if she had an ulterior motive. At one point in the interview he tried to link current Governor, Rick Perry (R) with Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay.
The interview included questions like “Did you leave the Republican party because of Rick Perry?”, “Are you a conservative”, and “Do you feel that Republicans have left their fiscal conservative roots”.
MATTHEWS: Is President Bush that clean a politician that he's willing to let his press secretary's mother run against his governor?
STRAYHORN: Listen. All of my sons are great in their own right. I've got four grown sons, five young granddaughters. The good Lord has a sense of humor. I have got a sixth on the way. That may be another girl too. But they all are doing a great job, and I'm proud of all of my sons, Chris.....
MATTHEWS: Are you a conservative?
STRAYHORN: Absolutely. I am a common sense fiscal conservative. You know, I would rather pay $98 a month and insure a kid with prescription drugs and get that 72 percent match from the feds, rather than pay $6,700 for one hospital stay picked up by the property taxes going right through the roof. I am a common sense conservative. I would rather educate our kids than incarcerate our kids.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about the Republican Party. Do you have a problem with the Republican Party today? That's why you're leaving it or are you leaving it because you don't like Rick Perry?
STRAYHORN: Chris, I have set aside partisan politics, as I said, because this governor, Rick Perry, has so politically fractured this state, that we can't get anything done. This governor has absolutely forgotten our children. He has ignored education. The taxes have gone up....
MATTHEWS: OK. Carole, you`re a record vote getter in Texas, as a candidate for comptroller. You've won it a couple of times. But let me ask you about the big issues. Do you think the Republican Party has departed from its fiscally conservative roots? They`re running-- the U.S. Congress right now, the United States government is running almost a $400 billion deficit, we're heading toward. Do you think that represents a waywardness from fiscal orthodoxy?
STRAYHORN: Chris, on January 2nd when I announced as an Independent and that`s a Texas Independent for governor, I said I`m putting aside partisan politics. I have put aside partisan politics. I`m not going to sit here and discuss partisan politics with you. I am going to discuss what we`re going to do in the state of Texas.