Matthews Gloats Over ‘Primetime Loser’ Trump Drawing Fewer Viewers Than Pelosi, Schumer

Leading off Wednesday’s Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews gloated about the supposed failure of President Trump’s Tuesday night address on illegal immigration and the shutdown, dubbing him a “primetime loser” who’s “a spoiled child” and lost out in the ratings to the much-maligned and parodied Democratic response by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

Matthews screeched “primetime loser” at the top of the show and then, after the opening credits, about how the President “has nowhere to go and nothing to say” in negotiations to reopen the government, adding: “Our President is acting like a spoiled child who, when losing the game, says ‘it's my ball and I'm going home.’”

 

 

Moments later, on the speech itself, Matthews gleefully read off the ratings with an almost Trumpian obsession:

Well, the collapse in talks comes just one day after he made a nationally televised, primetime pitch for the border wall. His performance won him, believe it or not, a small audience than the Democrats got in their response. His Oval Office address offered no new arguments for the wall and instead focusing on grim assertions of what it case — or what he cast as a national security crisis at the border. As I said, preliminary vote ratings last night gave the president's speech that was followed by Pelosi and Schumer, those people got higher ratings than the president himself for his performance. 

Speaking with panelist and former Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD) a short time later, Matthews felt the need to continue pouring salt:

This President is very good at the theatrics. You might call it the craziness of these rallies he holds. He knows how to talk back and forth. He's interactive. He was terrible last night. There was no interactivity. He's staring in there looking at the prompter, a little bit off I noticed. About a couple inches off. It wasn't theatrical — theatrically staged right. He got nothing out of last night and the fact that Pelosi and — and — and Chuck Schumer, who were not TV people especially, beat him out in the ratings must kill him.

Edwards agreed that it “probably” did frustrate him, adding that Trump “never is good at reading what he doesn't believe and so he's reading a statement” which “[h]e clearly doesn't believe it and you know that he wants to get in there and say something off and he couldn't do it.”

Later in the show, Matthews and guests for his Hardball roundtable wondered if Vice President Mike Pence had a “soul” for “kissing up...to Rush Limbaugh” and whether its Limbaugh or the President who runs the Republican Party.

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

MSNBC’s Hardball
January 9, 2019
7:00 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Primetime loser. Let's play Hardball. [HARDBALL OPENING CREDITS] Good evening, I'm Chris Matthews in Washington. The President tonight has nowhere to go and nothing to say. He walked out of a meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, refusing to even budge on his demand they fund his border wall, saying he has nothing more to say. Rudy Giuliani, his lawyer, meanwhile, told Reuters today that President Trump is done taking questions from special counsel Robert Mueller and he has told him so. Now, this is where things stand in our country tonight. Our President is acting like a spoiled child who, when losing the game, says “it's my ball and I'm going home.” We'll begin with that dramatic Oval Office confrontation late this afternoon between Trump and the Democratic leaders of the Congress. The latest round of negotiations over the wall ended acrimoniously after less than a quarter of an hour, less than 15 minutes today.

(....)

7:03 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: Well, the collapse in talks comes just one day after he made a nationally televised, primetime pitch for the border wall. His performance won him, believe it or not, a small audience than the Democrats got in their response. His Oval Office address offered no new arguments for the wall and instead focusing on grim assertions of what it case — or what he cast as a national security crisis at the border. As I said, preliminary vote ratings last night gave the president's speech that was followed by Pelosi and Schumer, those people got higher ratings than the president himself for his performance. The New York Times reports privately he dismissed the need for speech, writing this: “In an off-the-record lunch with television anchors hours before [his TV ] address, trump made clear in blunt terms he was not inclined to give the speech or go to Texas [this Thursday] but was talked into it by [his PR] advisers, according to two people briefed on the discussion. ‘It's not going to change a damn thing, but I'm still going to do it,’ Trump said of the border visit.” Well, this is one Trump prediction that fact checkers are unlikely to disagree with.

(....)

7:12 p.m. Eastern

MATTHEWS: It looked like to me, Donna, you know television. You’ve been on it a lot lately. I got to tell you something. This President is very good at the theatrics. You might call it the craziness of these rallies he holds. He knows how to talk back and forth. He's interactive. He was terrible last night. There was no interactivity. He's staring in there looking at the prompter, a little bit off I noticed. About a couple inches off. It wasn't theatrical — theatrically staged right. He got nothing out of last night and the fact that Pelosi and — and — and Chuck Schumer, who were not TV people especially, beat him out in the ratings must kill him. 

DONNA EDWARDS: Well, it probably does, but the thing is, I mean, the President never is good at reading what he doesn't believe and so he's reading a statement. He clearly doesn't believe it and you know that he wants to get in there and say something off —

MATTHEWS: It was ghostwritten.

EDWARDS: — and he couldn't do it. 

NB Daily Government shutdown Immigration MSNBC Hardball Video Donna Edwards Chris Matthews Donald Trump Nancy Pelosi Chuck Schumer
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