Matthews Bizarrely Obsesses Over Southerners Backing Sessions; ‘You Can Almost Hear Dixie in Their Voices’

While covering on Wednesday the public ridiculing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions by President Trump, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews bizarrely claimed that it’s “mostly southern senators” with “Dixie in their voices” who are supporting “a favorite of the old Confederacy.”

The loony train was off and running seconds into the show as Matthews declared that “we're watching civil war between mostly southern senators loyal to the man from Alabama as he challenges the President out there loudly trying to dump him.”

“The fight is now making Republicans take sides between Donald Trump, a former Democrat from New York, lets remember, and Jeff Sessions, a favorite of the old Confederacy. Well, the President’s latest assault is to hit Jeff Sessions for not removing the acting FBI director,” he continued.

Yeesh. Everything has to be about racism with liberals.

Matthews wasn’t done, telling a panel eight minutes later that Republicans and conservatives defending Sessions are “mostly southern senators” and thus, in his mind, “[t]here’s a real sort of regional thing here.”

“They consider Sessions one of their own — sort of an old southern guy. You can almost hear Dixie in their voices. Watch this,” Matthews added while The Washington Post’s Philip Bump could be heard laughing.

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However, there was just one problem: not all of the Republicans in the video montage were southerners. Sure, Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich from Georgia are from the South and Deep South, but the other three arguably are not.

John Cornyn is from Texas, but many would contend that Texas stands on her own. As for the other two, John Barrasso represents Wyoming and Orrin Hatch hails from Utah. So, in other words, this space deems this hatchet job fake news (pun intended).

Nevertheless, Matthews unsuccessfully tried to keep this southern obsession alive, wondering Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley (Ill.):

Congressman Quigley, you're from Illinois, but figure this out. There seems to be a regional loyalty to one their own — to Sessions. I mean, he is one of the post-1964 I mean that seriously, southern Republicans now. They used to be all southern Democrats. Dixiecrats. Now they're all very loyal to Trump and it looks line he's the leader among them. They're all sticking to him.

Quigley turned matters back to Trump, arguing that the President has gone to great lengths in order to blame anyone but himself when things don’t go his way.

Tonight's crazy talk on Hardball was brought to you by Birds Eye Voila! Skillet Meals, Hilton Hotels, Liberty Mutual and TUMS.

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on July 26:

MSNBC’s Hardball
July 26, 2017
7:00 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, the battle between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions is escalating. Tonight, we're watching civil war between mostly southern senators loyal to the man from Alabama as he challenges the President out there loudly trying to dump him. The fight is now making Republicans take sides between Donald Trump, a former Democrat from New York, lets remember, and Jeff Sessions, a favorite of the old Confederacy. Well, the President’s latest assault is to hit Jeff Sessions for not removing the acting FBI director, remember that one? He tweeted: “Why didn't [Attorney General] Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend, who was in charge of the Clinton investigation but got big dollars for his wife's political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the swamp.” That's Trump. But, once again, Trump’s bugle call was unrelated to reality. For one thing, Sessions wasn't Attorney General when the FBI was going after the Clinton e-mail. And second, President Trump himself has the authority to remove McCabe and he hasn’t done so. Well, the President’s real problem here with Sessions is that he can’t protect Trump from Special Counsel Bob Mueller. For this reason, Trump has spent this week leveling a steady stream of attacks.

(....)

7:08 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Anyway, the President’s attacks on Jeff Sessions have drawn significant criticism from Republican Senators and conservatives. Watch these. They're mostly southern senators. There’s a real sort of regional thing here. They consider Sessions one of their own — sort of an old southern guy. You can almost hear Dixie in their voices. Watch this [PHILLIP BUMP LAUGHS]

REPUBLICAN SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (S.C.): I would fire somebody that I did not believe could serve me well rather than trying to humiliate them in public which is a sign of weakness. [SCREEN WIPE] He's trying to get Sessions to quit. And I hope Sessions doesn't quit and if the President wants to fire him, fire him. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN CORNYN (Tex.): Jeff Sessions is an honorable man. He did what I believe any ethical Attorney General would do under the circumstances. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JOHN BARRASSO (Wyo.): He is one of the honest people you would ever know. He is a man of very high integrity and he is an Eagle Scout. [SCREEN WIPE] Jeff Sessions has my confidence. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR RICHARD SHELBY (Ala.): He is a man of courage. He is a man of purpose. And he is a man of substance. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR THOM TILLIS (N.C.): I think that his independence has been proven by his willingness to recuse himself. 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR ORRIN HATCH (Utah): Jeff has been very loyal to the President and I think he deserves loyalty back. 

NEWT GINGRICH: I personally would strongly recommend against firing Sessions. [SCREEN WIPE] Sessions has been remarkably loyal to the President and loyalty, I think, has to be a two-way street.

MATTHEWS [TO QUIGLEY]: Congressman Quigley, you're from Illinois, but figure this out. There seems to be a regional loyalty to one their own — to Sessions. I mean, he is one of the post-1964 I mean that seriously, southern Republicans now. They used to be all southern Democrats. Dixiecrats. Now they're all very loyal to Trump and it looks line he's the leader among them. They're all sticking to him.

NBDaily Conservatives & Republicans MSNBC Hardball Video Jeff Sessions Chris Matthews Lindsey Graham Richard Shelby Newt Gingrich John Barrasso John Cornyn Orrin Hatch
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