In May, ABCNews.com reported that Democrats were unhappy that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie put his family into state tourism ads begging people to come back to beaches on the New Jersey shore. “That Gov. Christie would allow $25 million in federally-funded ads to feature him in the middle of an election year is both supremely arrogant and wildly inappropriate,” his opponent Barbara Buono said. Chris Matthews barely mentioned Buono this year, mostly to note she was getting creamed in the polls.
On Thursday night's "Hardball," MSNBC host Chris Matthews was livid that Sen. Rand Paul would second that critique, that it's unseemly for the governor to put himself in tourism ads in an election year. "Pissant" was the word Matthews used -- twice:
MATTHEWS: Here's some real pissant -- I want to say something about Rand Paul. He's getting smaller by the minute. Here`s Senator Rand Paul. He had some strong words, negative words for Governor Christie yesterday because Christie appeared on several TV ads to boost the New Jersey economy after Hurricane Sandy. The ads were funded with the federal disaster and state money they got from the federal money for the state. But let`s watch this -- watch this -- just watch Rand Paul going at him here. Let's watch.
SEN. RAND PAUL (clip from Senate hearing): Some of these ads -- people running for office put their mug all over these ads while they`re in the middle of a political campaign. In New Jersey, $25 million was spent on ads that included somebody running for political office. You think there might be a conflict of interest there. You know, that`s a real problem. And that's why when people who are trying to do good and trying to use taxpayers' money wisely, they`re offended to see our money spent on political ads. You know, that`s just offensive.
MATTHEWS: It's -- I think that comment by Rand Paul makes him smaller. It's a pissant comment. The guy just won a 60 percent election victory in a state that`s very hard for their party, if he is a Republican, Rand Paul, to win. Instead of going after that, he goes after the ad campaign.
And the other guy going -- Cruz was doing the same thing, saying he didn't battle for principle because he allowed the state of New Jersey, which has a lot of poor people and working poor people in it, to get Medicaid. I just don't see -- the lack of chivalry -- or what's the right word -- magnanimity, Michael, is amazing -- Michael Steele, is amazingly missing here.
What's amazing here is that Matthews thinks he can be America's arbiter of who is chivalrous and magnanimous -- as he trashes politicians as "pissants."
This ad does engage a libertarian, who might ask: Why are taxpayers in Idaho forced to fund tourism ads for New Jersey to enrich TV stations in New York and Philadelphia? Is this really the federal government's responsibility?