It is simply "beyond indecent" for Donald Trump or anyone else to hit Hillary Clinton for enabling Bill Clinton's adultery and subsequent handling of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Hardball host Chris Matthews huffed on his January 4 MSNBC program.
Moments after saying this, Matthews went on to praise Clinton for her gracious handling of the humiliation of the scandal and how she emerged from that as a rising star in Democratic politics, winning a Senate seat of her own. It is worth noting, of course, that Matthews's buttering-up of the Democratic frontrunner comes one night prior to his exclusive sit-down interview with Clinton.
Let's also not forget that Matthews's wife Kathleen is running in a contested Democratic primary for a House seat in Maryland. While Mrs. Clinton hasn't offered an endorsement in that race and may decline to do so, it stands to reason that even if Chris wanted to lob some true hardballs tomorrow that he won't given a desire to not do anything to alienate his wife's chances of securing material support from Team Clinton.
Below is the relevant transcript and video from tonight's Hardball:
January 4, 2016; 7:13 p.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Heidi [Przybyla of USA Today], you're on to something here. Women will react to this in what way? Because I do believe that anyone who covered that whole situation in '98, left, right or center, knew that Hillary Clinton was shocked by it. Knew that she was overwhelmed by the horror of the whole thing. Humiliated by it, you might say.
Of course she came back strong and showed her resolve and went out campaigned for Chuck Schumer and she went out and built her own political career. But she was able to do that through strength. But nobody I've ever heard has ever said she was an enabler of Monica Lewinsky. It's beyond indecent It's beyond indecent, I think. Your thoughts?
MATTHEWS: And by the way, just to make the point clear here, it wasn't just sympathy for Hillary. I think the way she showed her strength after that whole incident and the way she put herself together, dealt with the situation, carried on as a partisan and came on as much more of an independent political figure than she had been before. A lot of strength was shown there.
Anyway, thank you, Heidi Przybyla. Thank you, so much, [Washington Examiner correspondent] David Drucker. More with you next time. And a reminder: Hardball has the first interview of 2016 with Hillary Clinton tomorrow night. We want you to know [sic] what you have to ask us. Give us some ideas. Tweet us your questions using the hashtag HRConHardball. HRConHardball. Or send us your questions via Facebook. Find us at Facebook.com/Hardball.