‘Hardball’ Frets ‘Effective’ Al Franken Had to Resign; ‘New Republican Age of Consent Is 14’

Over time, one learns that you can always count on MSNBC’s Hardball to produce baffling moments. Thursday was no exception as the show featured USA Today’s Susan Page bemoaning the “sad picture” of “effective” Democratic Senator Al Franken (Minn.) resigning from Congress while host Chris Matthews sneered that “[t]he new Republican age of consent is 14 if” Roy Moore “wins” in Alabama.

Seven minutes into the show, Matthews told Page that “pedophilia is trumped by politics” in that “voters apparently would rather vote for the guy of their party regardless of his sins or behavior or crime” to which Page emphasized that Franken’s allegations are far less serious than those against Moore.

 

 

While b-roll footage ran of Franken and his wife walking into the U.S. Capitol ahead of his resignation announcement, Matthews took notice and stopped to comment on how he felt bad for Franken’s wife. Eventually, the topic moved back to almost pitying the Senator:

MATTHEWS: Look at that picture. 

PAGE: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: It's just such a sad picture for her and him as well. Go ahead.

PAGE: It is a sad picture and, you know the fact is Al Franken was an effective senator, has been an effective senator, got re-elected easily after that very narrow first contest. 

Yikes.

“But Democrats decided they had to encourage him to resign because they want this big contrast with the other party and they want it to help them next year when Republicans are standing with perhaps Senator Roy Moore and Democrats have forced members of Congress, Al Franken, John Conyers, perhaps others to come, to resign,” Page added, pointing out the political expediency of Democrats. 

Later on, Mathews marveled about the supposed lack of “personality morality” among Republicans in 2017 after having used that issue in 1998 against Bill Clinton.

The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan responded that, in contrast, “Democrats didn't care about it then,” which makes the state of play in 2017 “absolutely amazing” because it was the GOP that “hung Bill Clinton on a hook, that he was — that he was a liar, that he was immoral, and that he had dishonored...the presidency.”

Matthews then offered a less-than-classy response, defending Clinton in order to attack Moore by making a disgusting claim about what one entire political party thinks is the age of consent:

Younger women. No, [Clinton] went down as young as 22. This guy’s down at 14. The new Republican age of consent is 14 if this guy wins. Anyway, the round — I don’t want to laugh, but it’s horrible. It’s just so ludicrous that they're running this platform. 

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Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on December 7:

MSNBC’s Hardball
December 7, 2017
7:07 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, you have to say there, Susan, my fellow expert on politics, that in here, pedophilia is trumped by politics. They don't care. The voters apparently would rather vote for the guy of their party regardless of his sins or behavior or crimes. 

SUSAN PAGE: And pretty sharp difference you see there between two parties' attitudes because the allegations against Al Franken are serious but they’re not nearly as serious as the allegations against Roy Moore. 

MATTHEWS: Of course not. 

PAGE: And one reason I think the Democrats finally decided they would tell Senator Franken that he had to resign was because they want to make that contrast. They did not want to —

MATTHEWS: I have a feeling for Fran here. 

PAGE: — they did not want to spend their capital — 

MATTHEWS: She looks —

PAGE: She looks really sad. 

MATTHEWS: Look at that picture. 

PAGE: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: It's just such a sad picture for her and him as well. Go ahead.

PAGE: It is a sad picture and, you know the fact is Al Franken was an effective senator, has been an effective senator, got re-elected easily after that very narrow first contest. But Democrats decided they had to encourage him to resign because they want this big contrast with the other party and they want it to help them next year when Republicans are standing with perhaps Senator Roy Moore and Democrats have forced members of Congress, Al Franken, John Conyers, perhaps others to come, to resign.

(....)

7:48 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: What about personal morality in 1998 with Bill Clinton, most important thing in the world to conservatives. 

ANNE GEARAN: And Democrats didn't care about it then. No, I mean, that — that turn-around is absolutely amazing, right? I mean that was the thing by which Republicans hung Bill Clinton on a hook, that he was — that he was a liar, that he was immoral, and that he had dishonored —

MATTHEWS: Younger women.

GEARAN: He had dishonored the presidency. 

MATTHEWS: No, he went down as young as 22. This guy’s down at 14. The new Republican age of consent is 14 if this guy wins. Anyway, the round — I don’t want to laugh, but it’s horrible. It’s just so ludicrous that they're running this platform. 


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CyberAlerts Campaigns & Elections Congress Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video Chris Matthews Susan Page Anne Gearan Roy Moore Al Franken Bill Clinton
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