‘Hardball’ Panel Questions Whether Pence Has a ‘Soul’ ‘Kissing Up...to Rush Limbaugh’

The liberal media obsession with Rush Limbaugh dragged on into Wednesday’s Hardball, in which the panelists questioned whether Vice President Mike Pence even had a “soul” for “kissing up” to Limbaugh earlier in the day and whether Trump and Limbaugh were the monkey and organ grinder, or vice versa.

Host Chris Matthews brought up Limbaugh in light of the government shutdown and the President standing firm on his promise of securing the southern border, leading to a government shutdown as Democrats have refused to support this proposal.

 

 

“Since then, there’s been little daylight between the President and his far-right friends. Today, Vice President Pence, for example, took some time to call Rush Limbaugh and thank him for his support,” bemoaned Matthews, quipping after the clip that he thought it “was a bishop talking to his pope.”

Once he introduced panelists Jason Johnson of The Root plus Ruth Marcus and George Will of The Washington Post, Matthews asked Will who’s in charge of the GOP. Right on cue, Will expressed his disdain for both men (click “expand”):

MATTHEWS: George, I want to ask you about the Republican Party. Who's the boss? 

WILL: Trump. 

MATTHEWS: Not Limbaugh? 

WILL: Well, he’s sort of a marionette or a sock puppet. No, it’s Trump's party thoroughly. 

MATTHEWS: Well, who's the organ grinder and who's the monkey? 

WILL: What difference does it make? 

Marcus replied that “we are used to the Vice President lavishing up praise, fulsome praise on the President,” so “[i]t was remarkable to see him attending to Rush Limbaugh with the same excessive devotion and I think that was pretty telling.”

Matthews kept up the deranged obsession that he also showed on Tuesday: “But why does kissing up to be crude about it to Rush Limbaugh? He has an audience of 10 million people. It’s a big one, but it’s a big chunk of 330 million people.”

Also eager to pile on, Johnson went low, joking about whether Pence had a “soul” to begin with (click “expand”):

JOHNSON: Because for being Vice President and for being a heart beat away from the presidency, Mike Pence has mastered being obsequious and genuflecting to basically anyone that he’s said after. And it’s pathetic and it’s sad, but that’s how he’s always been. He's been that way to president trump and everybody else. But here’s the thing.

MATTHEWS: So, you mean he has the soul of a vice president?

JOHNSON: Exactly. Exactly. What lack of soul he still — still has. 

MARCUS: Spine.

JOHNSON: Lack of spine and soul. The catch is, though, Rush Limbaugh is about as trustworthy as President Trump. He has criticized the president before. So, just because you're on the air kissing his butt now, saying thank you so much.

Before moving on, Matthews joked to Johnson that this must mean he’s not someone who would ask his barber to turn on Limbaugh when he’s hanging around a barber shop at 12 noon.

To see the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on January 9, click “expand.”

MSNBC’s Hardball
January 9, 2019
7:40 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Three weeks ago, Senate Republicans overwhelmingly supported a move to fund the government without extra money for the wall, a move that the President seemingly agreed to until Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter objected to it. Since then, there’s been little daylight between the President and his far-right friends. Today, Vice President Pence, for example, took some time to call Rush Limbaugh and thank him for his support. Let's listen. 

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: We couldn't be more grateful for your voice on the airwaves of America every day. Everything we've accomplished over the last two years, rebuilding our military, reviving our economy, setting a record for conservatives appointed to our courts, America's growing at home, we're stand tall on the world stage. You’ve played a key role in that and, Rush, we don't thank you enough. But thank you for all that you've meant to this movement and the progress we've made in this country.

MATTHEWS: I think that was a bishop talking to his pope. [INTRODUCES HIS PANEL] George, I want to ask you about the Republican party. Who's the boss? 

GEORGE WILL: Trump. 

MATTHEWS: Not Limbaugh? 

WILL: Well, he’s sort of a marionette or a sock puppet. No, it’s Trump's party thoroughly. 

MATTHEWS: Well, who's the organ grinder and who's the monkey? 

WILL: What difference does it make? 

MATTHEWS: You are being so careful. Ruth Marcus, tend to your columnist here. 

RUTH MARCUS: I would not presume to do that. I think — you know, we are used to the Vice President lavishing up praise, fulsome praise on the President. It was remarkable to see him attending to Rush Limbaugh with the same excessive devotion and I think that was pretty telling.

WILL: You don’t forget Joe Arpaio also.

MATTHEWS: I think fulsome means — 

MARCUS: I have an argument —

MATTHEWS: — not really genuine. 

JASON JOHNSON: Yeah.

MARCUS: Well, excessive, lavish praise. 

MATTHEWS: But why does kissing up to be crude about it to Rush Limbaugh? He has an audience of 10 million people. It’s a big one, but it’s a big chunk of 330 million people. 

JOHNSON: Because for being Vice President and for being a heart beat away from the presidency, Mike Pence has mastered being obsequious and genuflecting to basically anyone that he’s said after. And it’s pathetic and it’s sad, but that’s how he’s always been. He's been that way to president trump and everybody else. But here’s the thing.

MATTHEWS: So, you mean he has the soul of a vice president?

JOHNSON: Exactly. Exactly. What lack of soul he still — still has. 

MARCUS: Spine.

JOHNSON: Lack of spine and soul. The catch is, though, Rush Limbaugh is about as trustworthy as President Trump. He has criticized the president before. So, just because you're on the air kissing his butt now, saying thank you so much.

MATTHEWS: You mean when you're at the barber shop at 12 in the afternoon, you don't ask “please turn on Rush Limbaugh?”

JOHNSON: No, no. 

MATTHEWS: Okay.

JOHNSON: Not my shop.


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NBDaily Government shutdown Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats MSNBC Hardball Video Chris Matthews Ruth Marcus George Will Jason Johnson Mike Pence Rush Limbaugh Donald Trump
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