Chris Matthews on Wednesday took his smearing of conservatives to a new level, comparing Ted Cruz to the Nazi-sympathizing, World War II-era Father Charles Coughlin. After playing a montage of the Republican senator, Matthews sneered, "I think [Cruz] fits in the tradition of Father Coughlin and McCarthy and, of course, maybe to a lesser extent, Pat Buchanan and, of course, [Bill] O'Reilly." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Lumping all these men together, the Hardball anchor generalized, "These guys are hard right-wing guys. They look a lot alike. They have what we call the black Irish look to them." According to Urban Dictionary, black Irish is someone with "dark hair and olive skin." The liberal Matthews is quite sensitive on issues of race, so how is such talk acceptable?
Later, he continued: "Is a demagogue a good career plan? I mean, it worked for Huey Long for a while. It worked for a lot of guys like Coughlin for a while and certainly McCarthy."
A partial transcript of the June 12 segment is below:
TED CRUZ [Montage]: I refer to this new generation of leads as the children of Reagan because we learned watching him. I'm going to suggest the last election can be explained in two words: 47 percent. I think Republicans are and should be the party of the 47 percent. Let me be clear, I don't trust the Republicans and I don't trust the Democrats. I think President Obama is the most radical president we've ever seen. But I think an awful lot of Republicans fail to stand for principle.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, that doesn't include comments made behind the cameras like in 2010 when he said that Obama would make a perfect President of Harvard Law School because, quote, "there were far fewer Republicans in the faculty when we were there than communists," assuming the communists would, of course, vote for the President. This guy goes pretty far. I think he fits in the tradition of Father Coughlin and McCarthy and, of course, maybe to a lesser extent, Pat Buchanan and, of course, O'Reilly. These guys are hard right-wing guys. They look a lot alike. They have what we call the black Irish look to them. They don't smile much. It's quite a tradition here, but it does run to the right of the regular Republican Party.
MATTHEWS: Do you think it's a good career plan to be a demagogue? Is a demagogue a good career plan? I mean, it worked for Huey Long for a while. It worked for a lot of guys like Coughlin for a while and certainly McCarthy for a while and some people more recently. But is it a career move to be a demagogue?