After playing a clip of Rush Limbaugh charging Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor with bigotry and racism, Chris Matthews, on Wednesday's "Hardball," implied Limbaugh was the racist as he asked a guest panelist Jeanne Cummings of the Politico, "Is this the pot calling the kettle black?" To which Cummings responded that the radio talk show host was going to "chase," all the Hispanics away from the GOP:
Well all I know is it's the worst nightmare for the Republicans, I mean they're trying to calculate whether they should vote against her, how aggressively they should try to sort through her record and challenge her during hearings. And with things like that, and all that calculation to try to keep Hispanic support, even as small as it's gotten for Republicans. Rush Limbaugh can chase ‘em all away in an afternoon with that kind of talk." [audio available here]
The following is the full segment as it was aired on the May 27 edition of "Hardball":
RUSH LIMBAUGH: I have no doubt Sonia Sotomayor is going to be confirmed. None. Zip, zero. Nada. Nobody should be attacked because they're female or because they're Hispanic. My opposition to Sonia Sotomayor is based on the fact she's not a good judge. She's an angry woman. She's got a, she's got, she's a bigot. She's a racist.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: She's an angry, bigoted racist. Boy it's amazing what Rush Limbaugh will come up with these days. Jeanne Cummings is this the pot calling the kettle black or what the hell is going on here? Astounding charges.
JEANNE CUMMINGS, POLITICO: Well all I know is it's the worst nightmare for the Republicans. I mean they're trying to calculate whether they should vote against her, how aggressively they should try to sort through her record and challenge her during hearings. And with things like that, and all that calculation to try to keep Hispanic support, even as small as it's gotten for Republicans. Rush Limbaugh can chase ‘em all away in an afternoon with that kind of talk.
MATTHEWS: Yeah I think, I think he wants this fight Howard, I'll stick to my guns. I think he wants to fight with the guy he's fighting with as he always wants to fight.
HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: Barack Obama does?
MATTHEWS: The group you call R.N.C.
MATTHEWS: Let's go through their names.
MATTHEWS: Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich-
FINEMAN: Newt Gingrich.
MATTHEWS: And Dick Cheney.
FINEMAN: -and Dick Cheney. Yeah.
MATTHEWS: He loves to fight with that three.
FINEMAN: Well and they're obliging. Newt Gingrich just put out a Twitter message saying-
MATTHEWS: Oh isn't he state of the art?
FINEMAN: He is state of the art. Saying that Sotomayor should step down because she is a quote, "Latina racist," or words to that effect. But talking to one of the conservative Republican strategists. They're happy with this, the right wingers are happy because they're gonna be able to talk about the 2nd Amendment. There's a gun ruling that, that Sotomayor had that they don't like and they can get support in their base from. There's the affirmative action thing in New Haven. In other words they're speaking to and only want to excite the, frankly the white male base of the Republican Party.
MATTHEWS: Jeanne this is where we came in. This seems to be the name of this year's politics. The battle between the governing Democratic Party and the outriders. The outliers on the right. That's the fight that goes on and John Boehner and Mitch McConnell aren't even in the shouting match.
CUMMINGS: No they're squeezed right in the middle. It's just the worst possible position for them.