Chris Matthews is known for his verbal gaffes, but his political prognosticating doesn’t age well either. As Right Scoop noted, the Hardball anchor eagerly mocked Mitt Romney in 2012 for suggesting that Russia is one of the “world’s worst actors” and “our number one geopolitical foe.” On March 27, 2012, Matthews sneered that this was “Romney's latest misstep, his geopolitical faux pas.”
The anchor proclaimed, “I don’t know what decade this guy is living. It sounds like '72, '52 even. It's not Stalin over there. It's not Khrushchev. It's not Brezhnev. It's [Dmitry] Medvedev.” Regarding the way Medvedev dismissed Romney’s comments, Matthews offered a naive analysis: “I don't know Medvedev. We've got mixed views to these guys. But he seems so sophisticated and witty about his response.”
Guest Cynthia Tucker fumed, “It made Romney look dumb. He's not a dumb man. But he said something that was clearly dumb.”
Fellow guest Sam Stein also offered a condescending response:
SAM STEIN: The fact that he declared Russia the preeminent geopolitical problem that the United States faced in the world is an antiquated world view, but it's not something that's being hidden from Romney's policy platform. He's articulated stuff like this in the past. The problem that he can run to that, it's a much more complicated situation than it ever has been, that Russia is a much different country than it's been in many decades.
As previously noted on NewsBusters, Obama’s response to Romney’s warning about Russia was to joke: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the cold war has been over for 20 years.”
This is the same Matthews who recently suggested the Communists were right about America. On February 18, 2014, speaking about campaign finance spending in America, he attacked:
MATTHEWS: …It reminds me of what the Communists used to say about us in the old days, that behind the pretense of democracy and free elections was the power of the Rockefellers pulling the strings, working the puppets, getting everything the way they wanted it.
A partial transcript of the March 27, 2012 segment is below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: We'll be back with Mitt Romney`s latest misstep, his geopolitical faux pas.
[Video of Romney]
MITT ROMNEY: If he [Obama] is planning on doing more and suggests to Russia that he has things he is willing to do with them he`s not willing to tell the American people -- this is to Russia. This is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe. They fight every cause for the world's worst actors.
MATTHEWS: Cynthia, I don't know what decade this guy is living. It sounds like '72, '52 even. It's not Stalin over there. It's not Khrushchev. It's not Brezhnev. It's Medvedev.
CYNTHIA TUCKER, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: It's not the Cuban missile crisis.
MATTHEWS: It's another country in the world. It's no longer the Soviet Union. Is he trying to play Ronald Reagan here or what? What is he up to?
TUCKER: You know, this is Mitt Romney`s severely conservative problem. He struggles so hard to be persuasive, to make a case against Obama, that he always ends up jumping sharks, saying something that is completely off key and not credible.
It's no great surprise that he was going it try to take advantage of this, to criticize President Obama. He was hoping, no doubt, that this would have the same affect against President Obama that his aides message of calling Mitt Romney the Etch-a-Sketch candidate --
TUCKER: -- would have on him. But it didn't work. It made Romney look dumb. He's not a dumb man. But he said something that was clearly dumb.
MATTHEWS: Well, that's argumentative on your party, Cynthia. He's not dumb, because I tell you -- Sam, I`ll tell you, I don't know Medvedev. We`ve got mixed views to these guys. But he seems so sophisticated and witty about his response. I mean, he just said this is an ideological cliche from decades ago. This isn't -- as he put it, it's not the mid-1970s any more. This is the 21st century, Mr. Romney.
SAM STEIN, HUFFINGTON POST: Yes, but, you know, it does provide a window into how Romney looks at some of the, you know, geopolitical problems that we've faced. He`s always opted for more hawkish, militant stance, whether it`s beefing up our presence in the Mediterranean, whether it`s beefing up our defense budget, armament. Across the board, it`s always opt towards more militancy.
The fact that he declared Russia the preeminent geopolitical problem that the United States faced in the world is an antiquated world view, but it's not something that`s being hidden from Romney`s policy platform. He`s articulated stuff like this in the past. The problem that he can run to that, it's a much more complicated situation than it ever has been, that Russia is a much different country than it`s been in many decades.