Chris Matthews on Hardball: The GOP Has a ‘Love Affair with Anger’

Last night on Hardball, Chris Matthews hit the Republicans Party for having “this love affair with anger.” In a panel discussion on the 2016 Republican race for the nomination, the MSNBC personality explained that part of Donald Trump’s appeal is that the Republicans are “an angry party.” Matthews thought it unlikely that the party in its current state could nominate an establishment figure like Jeb Bush. 

Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report disputed Matthews’s contention that the supposed anger coming from the Republican Party is a new phenomenon. She noted: “This isn't new. Trump didn't invent this anger. He didn't unleash it or unearth it. It’s been there since at least 2010. He's connected to it in the same way Marco Rubio connected to it in 2010, Cruz connected in 2012, and then what happened in 2014? The establishment said, uh-oh, we better connect to this.”

Later in the segment, Matthews analyzed the Republican primary, arguing that it will likely come down to one establishment candidate against one more right-wing candidate. He asserted that Jeb Bush had better “look out” if the field is winnowed down to him against Donald Trump. 

Unsurprisingly, the Hardball host had kind words for Ohio governor and 2016 presidential candidate John Kasich. Matthews said Kasich is “the real deal. A working class guy.” He predicted that Kasich “will get in that debate [next Thursday night] and surprise everybody.” 

Matthews even labeled Kasich the “Cinderella kid” trying to take on the favorites in the Republican field. The liberal commentator thought Kasich could play up his working class roots the debate: 

When he takes on a big money guy like Trump, he says wait a minute, I am the guy you're talking to. I am that sodbuster regular guy that came up the hard way. You know, you went to Wharton. I went to Ohio State. Okay? Nothing wrong with Ohio State. But you're bragging about your Ivy League credentials. I’m taking you on. You're the elite, buddy. 

The relevant portion of the transcript is below. 

MSNBC
Hardball with Chris Matthews
July 29, 2015

MARK LEIBOVICH: And these are different flavors of outrage or different flavors of sort of how to approach a Republican primary when theoretically, I mean, we're talking about a southern populist party. 

AMY WALTER: Well, this is the interesting thing – 

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Now, it is a party, and it's an angry party. That's why I don't put Bush on the list you do. I don't see how this party can have this love affair with anger – which they're going through now – and end up picking Bush as their candidate. I don’t get it. 

AMY WALTER: But they’ve had this. This isn't new. Trump didn't invent this anger. He didn't unleash it or unearth it. 

MATTHEWS: He’s connected to it. 

WALTER: It’s been there since at least 2010. He's connected to it in the same way Marco Rubio connected to it in 2010, Cruz connected in 2012, and then what happened in 2014? The establishment said, uh-oh, we better connect to this. 

[...]

MATTHEWS: I added up all the votes of people on the right. Comes up to about 50%. All the votes of the people in what we used to call the center-right, the establishment right, about 30. They're way outnumbered. So if this thing winnows down to a right wing versus establishment fight and Trump wins the right wing primary basically, beats all the other guys like Huckabee and he's left standing to go against Bush, look out Bush. 

[...]

MATTHEWS: Unless Kasich, who I like. I hope it doesn’t hurt his standing. But I like Kasich, I think he's the real deal. Working class guy. 

WALTER: See, you lost him votes now in the Republican primary.  

MATTHEWS: Maybe I have, but he's moving up quick. He may make it to the debate next Wednesday – Thursday night. I think Kasich gets in that debate and surprises everybody. He’s the Cinderella kid getting in and he might be able to take on – because he's got the working class roots and ID. When he takes on a big money guy like Trump, he says wait a minute, I am the guy you're talking to. I am that sodbuster regular guy that came up the hard way. You know, you went to Wharton. I went to Ohio State. Okay? Nothing wrong with Ohio State. But you're bragging about your Ivy League credentials. I’m taking you on. You're the elite, buddy. 

NB Daily 2016 Presidential Media Bias Debate Liberals & Democrats Hardball Republican Party Chris Matthews Amy Walter Mark Leibovich

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