‘Hardball’ Panel Predicts Trump Will Be Blamed for Terror Attacks If He Cuts Government Spending

In a display of irresponsibility on Thursday night, MSNBC’s Hardball panel predicted with hints of approval that “Leninist” President Trump will be to blame if disease outbreaks or terror attacks occur on U.S. soil during his presidency should he shrink the size of government spending and federal bureaucracy.

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin and Time’s Jay Newton-Small started this pathetic discussion with Rubin hyping that Trump’s “going to create a mess” by shrinking government and especially “[i]f there is any incident, he is going to be left hanging in the wind.”

Newton-Small interjected before host Chris Matthews wanted to make a point by speculating that such period of reckoning for Trump is only “one underwear bomber away” or “one sort of Benghazi” attack away from trouble.

The befuddling Matthews unleashed this disturbing gem as he extolled the virtues of the TSA and how reducing their budget would make travel less safe:

By the way, saving money on TSA. I always like the TSA guys and women. I see them all the time because I travel relentlessly. I like them. They don’t make a ton of money, but they’re patriotic people and they do take the job very seriously. They really do and to say we're going to cut that expenditure..How do you make less people checking every bags, fewer checks of bags? I mean, you got to check every bag.

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Politico’s Eli Stokols did nothing toward contributing to a more mature discussion, instead agreeing with Matthews and offering this warning shot to Trump about terrorism: “[H]e’s great at blame-shifting and passing the buck, we'll see if that works once he’s President for awhile and something goes wrong.”

Blaming Trump for future homelessness, Matthews painted this picture of droves of veterans becoming homeless if Trump cuts their housing subsidies:

He’s going to cut money for guys on disability who fought in the war...How do you tell them to sit in the street again tonight? I mean, I’ll tell you. That's going to be a hard one. It won’t take much for a local news report to get a guy sitting on the corner saying: “I used to live down the street in this nice place, this section eight housing. I used to get a subsidy. Now, I’m sitting here. The weather may change.”

If all these comments weren’t already scrapping at the bottom of the barrel in baseless speculation, Newton-Small took it another step down by predicting that Trump could be to blame there’s a nationwide health emergency:

I mean, the FDA, the cuts to the FDA. I mean, these are things that if someone gets sick, if there's a massive e-coli outbreak, I mean, if there’s cuts to, like, if there’s huge amounts of pollution and everyone gets sick there. These are all really dangerous. 

Earlier in the segment, Matthews turned to Rubin and wondered she made of “Trump as a real Leninist” looking to “destroy institutions, that role is not just to serve as President, but to leave the government less government when he is gone.”

The shameless Rubin replied by touting federal bureaucracy as this marvelous institution that they (and not business, the people, and states) have been the impetus behind the country’s prosperity:

I think he has a very difference conception of what the state should be. He is trying to dismantle what he calls the administrative state, what we might say is the sort of liberal, international order that has kept the peace, that’s kept prosperity, that has tried to keep the safety net in tact[.] 

Here’s the relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on March 9:

MSNBC’s Hardball
March 9, 2017
7:43 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: You hear these stories about Trump as a real Leninist — whatever that means these days. He wants to destroy institutions, that role is not just to serve as President, but to leave the government less government when he is gone. 

JENNIFER RUBIN: Right. It’s a strange thing. On one hand, he is building up the government. He’s hiring 10,000 or whatever ICE employees. He’s ramping up the military. On the other hand, he taking up an axe, just as you said, to discretionary spending, which has already been cut way back. So, what is he up to? I think he has a very difference conception of what the state should be. He is trying to dismantle what he calls the administrative state, what we might say is the sort of liberal, international order that has kept the peace, that’s kept prosperity, that has tried to keep the safety net in tact for the —

MATTHEWS: We have State Department so we don't have wars. 

RUBIN: Exactly.

MATTHEWS: It's called diplomacy. 

(....)

7:46 p.m. Eastern

RUBIN: This is going to create a mess. If there is any incident, he is going to be left hanging in the wind because if he is removing real security for fake security, this wall that's never going to get built and doesn’t provide security anyway.

MATTHEWS: Nobody is going to be shooting over the wall. It’s not a security as you’d think — an ethnic thing, more than anything else.

JAY NEWTON-SMALL: But he’s one underwear bomber away, one sort of Benghazi, one —

RUBIN: Correct.

MATTHEWS: By the way, saving money on TSA. I always like the TSA guys and women. I see them all the time because I travel relentlessly. I like them. They don’t make a ton of money, but they’re patriotic people and they do take the job very seriously. They really do and to say we're going to cut that expenditure. How you going cut — trim that, Eli? How do you make less people checking every bags, fewer checks of bags? I mean, you got to check every bag. 

ELI STOKOLS: Right. If sounds pretty short-sighted to cut the budget for the TSA or for the Coast Guard to build a wall that a lot people say he doesn’t need and, you know, he’s great at blame-shifting and passing the buck, we'll see if that works once he’s President for awhile and something goes wrong. I think this is, you know, again, this is why our system has checks and balances. This is it why there's a congress who has to approve these things so that when you have a President who just wants to do whatever he wants, they’re not going to approve massive cuts to the State Department budget.

MATTHEWS: How many times have you walked down the street at Fifth Avenue or somewhere and a guy’s sitting there, asking for money and he usually says veteran and I take them at word. They’re usually in bad shape, either physically or psychologically or whatever. And now you wants to cut the housing — housing subsidies for guys making very little, probably on disability. He’s going to cut money for guys on disability who fought in the war? 

NEWTON-SMALL: Yeah. I mean, this is just —

MATTHEWS: How do you tell them to sit in the street again tonight? I mean, I’ll tell you. That's going to be a hard one. It won’t take much for a local news report to get a guy sitting on the corner saying: “I used to live down the street in this nice place, this section eight housing. I used to get a subsidy. Now, I’m sitting here. The weather may change.” 

NEWTON-SMALL: I mean, he’s — all of these cuts —

MATTHEWS: That's not going to sell. 

NEWTON-SMALL: — all these cuts. I mean, the FDA, the cuts to the FDA. I mean, these are things that if someone gets sick, if there's a massive e-coli outbreak, I mean, if there’s cuts to, like, if there’s huge amounts of pollution and everyone gets sick there. These are all really dangerous. 

MATTHEWS: The ideological piece of this is fascinating.


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NBDaily Congress Economy Military War on Terrorism Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats FDA MSNBC Hardball Video Government & Press Jennifer Rubin Chris Matthews Jay Newton-Small Donald Trump
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