MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was still hard at work making befuddling statements early Wednesday morning following the third installment of Super Tuesday with comments that mocked “neocons” as wanting everyone to go into battle “for Israel” as “blah, blah, blah” while fellow panelist Joy Reid attacked Rubio’s concession speech as unoriginal and mash-ups of Reagan and President Barack Obama.
The late-night chat started when Matthews asked NBC News senior White House correspondent Chris Jansing what she thought Ted Cruz gained from the evening to which Jansing reminded Matthews, Reid, NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander, and MSNBC reporter Tony Dokoupil that Cruz remains firmly in second place on the delegate count.
From out of nowhere, Matthews complained that Cruz spoke exclusively “to the rich people” and “hawks” in the Republican Party but not Trump voters on Tuesday night. Naturally, this statement ignored the fact that Cruz isn’t speaking to Trump diehards because he actually needs to defeat Trump with all other segments of the party.
Reid used this opportunity to seemingly unload on how much she disdains both Cruz and Rubio by whining that “they just refuse to change their brand in the face of overwhelming evidence that these two brands are not viable right now in the Republican Party.”
Despite Rubio having dropped out of the race, Reid twisted the proverbial dagger by lamenting that Rubio spoke during his campaign as if he “just read every book by Ronald Reagan and is repeating half of Obama’s Yes We Can speech.”
With Rubio out the race and one fewer candidate until the media darling in Trump secures the nomination, petty attacks such as this one could almost be guaranteed to increase on Cruz: “Cruz tonight spoke really to the donors, right to the Rubio people, the hawks, and the neocons. They’re not winning.”
The Hardball host then jumped in to compliment Reid for invoking Matthews’s right-leaning trigger word and made comments about Israel that his wife and Democratic congressional candidate Kathleen Matthews surely appreciated (aside from him failing to identify the fact that scores of “average” voters care about the damage being done by the EPA):
You and I are right on the that. The hawks, the necons, everybody go to the war in the Middle East for Israel, blah, blah, blah, the old crazy stuff and also the oil and gas regulations. What average guy or woman out there gives a damn about the EPA.
As my colleagues Ken Shepherd and Scott Whitlock chronicled on this site earlier in the evening, Matthews rehashed his dream 2016 ticket of Hillary Clinton and John Kasich and went on an extended rant about the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
The relevant portion of the transcript from MSNBC’s The Place for Politics 2016 on March 16 can be found below.
MSNBC’s The Place for Politics 2016
March 16, 2016
12:46 a.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: What does Cruz get out of it tonight? Who can I go to on that, Chris?
CHRIS JANSING: Well, look —
MATTHEWS: He got swept.
JANSING: — Ted Cruz is somebody who has looked and he has this strategy and you look at the delegate count. He's still number two in the delegate count. In fact, John Kasich is still behind Marco Rubio, who’s he's no longer in it, in the delegate count.
MATTHEWS: Why did he only talk to the rich people? In the hawks? He didn't seem to talk to the Trump people at all.
JOY REID: He and Rubio seem to have — they just refuse to change their brand in the face of overwhelming evidence that these two brands are not viable right now in the Republican Party. Rubio is still talking like he just read every book by Ronald Reagan and is repeating half of Obama’s Yes We Can speech. That is not going to win out that way and he went out that way and Cruz tonight spoke really to the donors, right to the Rubio people, the hawks, and the neocons. They’re not winning.
MATTHEWS: You and I are right on the that. The hawks, the necons, everybody go to the war in the Middle East for Israel, blah, blah, blah, the old crazy stuff and also the oil and gas regulations. What average guy or woman out there gives a damn about the EPA.
PETER ALEXANDER: We were behind the scenes with Kasich as he was watching the returns come in. He was on the phone tonight before any results were in with the donors from Rubio. He was on the phones with all sorts of folks from the establishment wing that they need to bring in. They are work thing as hard as they can. They're the lone main stream Republican left in this race and so, to disagree a little bit, what people learn more about his record, a lot of people may ask some questions about something of the things don’t sound as good as it does when you just hear the positive message. In the simple narrative that is this race right now, there is the Donald Trump, there is the Ted Cruz, and there's John Kasich who tonight won with independents by big numbers. He won with Democrats, seven percent of whom, as you witnessed firsthand, flipped sides to vote in this. There’s a bunch of Democrats in the state that are going to be the Republicans for the next four years unless they’re supporting Hillary Clinton.