Chris Matthews Blames Lack of 'Straight Lines' for Train Crash

May 13th, 2015 8:50 PM

In two separate segments on his May 13 Hardball program,  MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews blamed "turns" on the Amtrak passenger rail route for Tuesday night's train crash.

Matthews lamented that Amtrak rights-of-way must respect private property and that it's so much more difficult in the United States than say China for the government to muscle its way into providing as straight a shot as possible for passenger rail lines. Here's the relevant transcript:  

May 13, 2015
7:23 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS to Reps. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.): Let's talk about the track. You take the train every night home. And you take it too, as well. You know how it's rickety. You know it jumps around a lot. It's like the Wild West, some parts of that route. Do we need to have a better right-of-way? Can we clear a straight line for this train? How fast can a train go if it's going like this? [rapidly moves his right hand laterally]


7:45 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS to Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.): But we have a country where people can complain. In Communist countries like China, they just draw a straight line, whether it goes through your house or not, it's a straight line. We have this Amtrak, I've been taking it for a half a century, it doesn't go in a straight line. In this case, it tried to make a turn and turned over! Because there's so many turns on that route. How do you get rid of the turns?