Matthews Says Trump’s Anti-War Talk Fed His ‘Erogenous Zone’; Obama Is ‘Such a Gentleman’

Not that head-scratching moments on MSNBC’s Hardball aren’t rare or anything, but Tuesday’s installment featured another cringe-inducing split-second by host Chris Matthews as he admitted to The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin and Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman that President-elect Donald Trump’s anti-war stances in the primary had been “tickling my erogenous zones.”

A more traditional outburst of liberal gush was later in the show when panelists Michelle Bernard hailed President Barack Obama for ending his presidency as it started as the President-elect in 2008 when “the whole world was, you know, in economic turmoil” and he “was calming people down” to which Matthews burst out proclaiming that Obama is “such a gentleman.”

Three minutes into the show, Matthews aired a mash-up of Trump denouncing nation building, the war in Iraq, and stances concerning interventionism when he wondered if he’ll stick to that or insist (as he has occasionally as well) that we’ll relentlessly bomb our enemies before bringing on Fineman and Rubin. 

It was here that Matthews intentionally (or unintentionally) decided to make his guests and viewers uncomfortable as he did on April 11 when he used this same phrase [emphasis mine]:

I have to admit as a somewhat dovish guy, I'm not a pacifist, but I am dovish, that he was tickling my erogenous zones when he was saying that Hillary Clinton is trigger happy, that we're getting into every war, that people like Cheney couldn’t find a country he didn’t want to go to war with in the Middle East and yet he wants to kick the what out of the crap — I guess I can say — out of ISIS. Does that mean he wants to keep Assad? 

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Later in the hour, Bernard fawned over the President as being such a leader in tumultuous times in linking the 2008 economic collapse to what’s transpiring across America with the stunning election of Donald Trump.

“As the President, you know, gets ready to leave his presidency, think about 2008, when he came and he was Senator-elect in 2007, the whole world was, you know, in economic turmoil and it was Senator-elect or President-elect Obama who was calming people down and he's now doing the same thing on his way out bookended by two — by two Republicans,” the Bernard Center for Women head proclaimed.

Both in the middle of Bernard’s comments and afterward, Matthews couldn’t keep himself together in professing his admiration for the President as a “gentleman.” In the second mention, he touted Obama as someone that “everybody who's a conservative — what they always say, he should behave as a human being, the President does.”

The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on November 15 can be found below.

MSNBC’s Hardball
November 15, 2016
7:03 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Anyway, so, which will it be? An America-first policy or four years of bombing the you-know-what out of them. Anyway, his choice of secretary of state will be a telling fact. Joining me now is Huffington Post global editorial director Howard Fineman, also an MSNBC political analyst and Washington Post opinion writer, Jennifer Ruben. Jennifer, I'm going to start with you on this. I have to admit as a somewhat dovish guy, I'm not a pacifist, but I am dovish, that he was tickling my erogenous zones when he was saying that Hillary Clinton is trigger happy, that we're getting into every war, that people like Cheney couldn’t find a country he didn’t want to go to war with in the Middle East and yet he wants to kick the what out of the crap — I guess I can say — out of ISIS. Does that mean he wants to keep Assad? 

(....)

7:44 p.m. Eastern

MICHELLE BERNARD: Here's what is so striking about this. As the President, you know, gets ready to leave his presidency, think about 2008, when he came and he was Senator-elect in 2007, the whole world was, you know, in economic turmoil and it was Senator-elect or President-elect Obama who was calming people down and he's now doing the same thing on his way out — 

MATTHEWS: Yeah, such a gentleman.

BERNARD: — bookended by two — by two Republicans and it will be very interesting to see what he does with the secretary of state. Rudy Giuliani likes to refer to people as thugs. He is a thug. John Bolton? Extremely hawkish. Some people have said that he is one of the most hated people in national security. 

MATTHEWS: In the world. 

BERNARD: So, what does that —

MATTHEWS: But I want to say as a positive. Beyond what you said, the President is such a gentleman. 

BERNARD: Yes. 

MATTHEWS: If — you know, he's what everybody who's a conservative — what they always say, he should behave as a human being, the President does. He's being a gentleman about this.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Foreign Policy Military War on Terrorism Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press President Obama President Barack Obama Chris Matthews Barack Obama Donald Trump Michelle Bernard
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