Matthews: ‘Friendliness’ of RNC Attendees Is ‘Overwhelming,’ Doubts Dems Will Be Nice to GOPers

Early in MSNBC’s Tuesday night coverage of the Republican National Convention (RNC), Hardball host Chris Matthews took a brief shot at MSNBC’s parent company Comcast buying them from General Electric (GE) five years ago and admitted the RNC attendees have been “incredibly friendly” but doubted Democrats will do the same at their convention to conservative media members.

Taking the pot shot at GE first, Matthews compared the buyout to how “there’s no overwhelming support” for Donald Trump among the Republican base as Trump’s candidacy has left them “shell-shocked.” 

Matthews dropped the allusion to GE in between his observations about the lackadaisical support for Trump at the RNC:

It reminds me of a company that's just been taken over. We had that experience at NBC News and NBC. A company that's taken over by a new company. Comcast or in this case, it’s Trump. Trump is the new owner and they are not used to the lingo, the culture, who's the boss. So, people are feeling their way around.

Moments later, co-hosts Brian Williams and Rachel Maddow were interrupted by Matthews who wanted to “point out something to you” about the interactions he’s had with conservatives and Republicans in Cleveland. 

Matthews revealed that both he and MSNBC’s All In host Chris Hayes “walk around all the time” when they’re not on the air and, contrary to popular belief, people always “ask for selfies, say hello” and have been “incredibly friendly” to them. 

“So whatever you hear about the media bashing from the podium, it's not true with the people here. I can't tell you the number of smiles. Some of it's curiosity. A lot of it's TV. You're on television, but the warmth and friendliness is overwhelming and it's something you ought to know about back watching cause a lot of liberals and Progressives go oh, they must hate you guys,” Matthews explained.

After Williams seemed to half-heartedly reply “that’s good to hear,” Matthews stumbled onto the truth when he suggested that there could be a double standard when it comes to how conservative media members would be received at the Democratic National Convention (DNC): “I hope it's the same next week when they bring in their columns of conservative commentators like Hannity and I hope they get the same treatment. They may not deserve the same treatment but they ought to get it.”

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The relevant portions of the transcript from the 6:00 p.m. Eastern hour of MSNBC’s Republican National Convention coverage on July 19 can be found below.

MSNBC’s The Place for Politics 2016
July 19, 2016
6:07 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: But there's no overwhelming support for the nominee. This is the irony here. The people here are not effusive about Donald Trump. I’m not saying they're miserable. It reminds me of a company that's just been taken over. We had that experience at NBC News and NBC. A company that's taken over by a new company. Comcast or in this case, it’s Trump. Trump is the new owner and they are not used to the lingo, the culture, who's the boss. So, people are feeling their way around. It’s so interesting, a lot of people, I'm not saying they are shell-shocked but when you talk to regular delegates and the other people here, it's amazing how unsettled they are. They are not sure about the ground under their feet.

(....)

MATTHEWS: Can I point out something to you, Brian and Rachel? You really do get from walking around here all day and Chris and I have done it, we walk around all the time. When you don't see us here, we're walking around meeting people. It's constant. You’re constantly meeting people, they’re ask for selfies, say hello. They are incredibly friendly. So whatever you hear about the media bashing from the podium, it's not true with the people here. I can't tell you the number of smiles. Some of it's curiosity. A lot of it's TV. You're on television, but the warmth and friendliness is overwhelming and it's something you ought to know about back watching cause a lot of liberals and Progressives go oh, they must hate you guys. Well, no. That's not apparent at all in my experience. How about you? 

CHRIS HAYES: Yeah, same. Exactly.

MATTHEWS: I thought it was impressive. 

BRIAN WILLIAMS: That's good to hear. 

MATTHEWS: I hope it's the same next week when they bring in their columns of conservative commentators like Hannity and I hope they get the same treatment. They may not deserve the same treatment but they ought to get it. 

MATTHEWS: Good to hear and thank you for saying that.

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