Apparently to Chris Matthews's mind, Ted Cruz's criticism of Donald Trump for exhibiting "New York values" was not about the social and economic liberalism of the Big Apple's cultural and political elite, but rather an attack on city life itself, and a racist, xenophobic one at that which abhors Big City "diversity."
Here are the relevant remarks the MSNBC anchor made from a roundtable discussion on the April 6 edition of Hardball as he and his guests looked ahead to when Empire State voters go to the polls in the presidential primary 13 days from now:
April 6, 2016; 7:11 p.m. Eastern
Onscreen graphic "Soon: Trump Rally In New York"
CHRIS MATTHEWS, host: It looks to me like Trump is a lucky man. Because Trump has picked an opponent he can beat in New York and probably beat in Pennsylvania and probably in Maryland and the rest of the Northeast. Cruz is essentially a rural guy. His appeal is essentially to evangelicals and the people who don't like the big city, and where a phrase like "New York values" would work.
He's now running in New York, where New York values is sort of like the way that things are, you know? It was the first state to be pro-choice, I believe, maybe California was. I think it was New York. A state that has accepted live and let live, and every New Yorker I know takes tremendous pride in living on a street that's busy with diversity.
They love the fact they've got different orientations, different ethnic groups, it's busy as hell, you go to a restaurant, different restaurant, different ethnic group every night if you're lucky. They love that stuff!
And here comes a guy, Simon Pure, right-winger, coming into New York, saying I'm going to clean up this New York values things you got going here. It's perfect for Trump. It's cat nip.
Of course, as Cruz has said before, when he refers to New York values, he means the socially-liberal embrace of same-sex marriage and abortion, as well as the promotion of those values and of liberal economic policies via the mainstream news media.
Additionally, as Cruz has also explained before, his quip about "New York values" contra Donald Trump was a reference to an interview in October 1999 where Trump told Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert "hey, I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life, OK, so, you know, my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa." In the same interview, Trump declared he was "very pro-choice" and defended by saying, "again, it may be a little bit of a New York background, because there is some different attitude in different parts of the country."
Here's the relevant video from that appearance on Meet the Press: