Republicans like Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina seem to "enjoy" it when an abortion clinic is attacked by a crazed gunman because it opens another opportunity for them to attack the liberal media, Hardball host Chris Matthews bizarrely theorized on his November 30 program.
"The people who are pro-life in this case jumped too quickly attacking what they thought the liberal media was going to do," Matthews told moderately conservative Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker, adding:
Let the liberal media blame the bad guy and the enemies of Planned Parenthood first, and then attack Don't go first. Cause when you go first, you make people think, like this guy [Cruz], you're enjoying it. Like Carly Fiorina seems to be.
Earlier in the segment, Matthews suggested that Cruz's rhetoric about Planned Parenthood was an impetus for Friday's clinic shooting. You'll also notice at the end of this exchange that Matthews erroneously says he heard audio of the shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, exclaim "no more baby parts" (emphases mine):
TED CRUZ: And I will say it's unfortunate to see so many folks in the press bending over backwards to try to use this horrible crime to advance a political agenda. This man is a despicable murderer and he should be punished to the full extent of the law. But none of that changes the reality that Planned Parenthood is in the business of buying and selling the body parts of unborn children. None of that changes the reality that Planned Parenthood was caught on video apparently committing a pattern of felonies.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Anyway, I want to get to Cruz there before I do anything else. Cruz there says they're in the business of selling, buying and selling body parts.
KATHLEEN PARKER, Washington Post columnist: Yeah, well, that's completely false.
MATTHEWS: You think that might encourage somebody, some guy out in the hills right now who thinks like this guy to do something? Or not?
PARKER: I think that somebody who's inclined to do that sort of thing might say, well, look, he's a smart guy, he's running for president, he's justifying it.
MATTHEWS: Why is he saying it? Why did Cruz just say it?
PARKER: I don't know.
MATTHEWS: Did he believe it? Buying and selling.
EUGENE ROBINSON, Washington Post columnist: Buying and selling. Buying and selling.
PARKER:I think he's smarter than that. Surely he Googles and he would have to find out that that's a falsehood. And of course Carly Fiorina did that sort of exaggerated description during one of the debates. It was just too horrible. I don't even really want to repeat it.
MATTHEWS: I'm going to make this point. What's great about this country, people, is that even the most pro-life people in the world really think there's a difference, essential difference between abortion and gunning people down, essential difference.
PARKER: Of course!
MATTHEWS: They do believe it and therefore they all see this as a tragedy.
PARKER: Of course.
MATTHEWS: But some people's words are encouraging this kind of behavior. And I'm sorry, I heard it in the guy's voice, I'm not as kind as you, Gene. I heard him say no more baby parts. To me that was motive and if I went into court, I would nail this guy, on hate crimes.