Chris Matthews Fears ‘Horror’ of Ted Cruz Presidency; Calls Him ‘Enemy of the State’

Appearing in the 3 p.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on Tuesday, Hardball host Chris Matthews revealed how terrified he is at the prospect of Texas Senator Ted Cruz becoming president: “...Cruz is scarier than Trump and that will be a frightening prospect to realize....if we weren't talking about Trump, we’d be talking about the horror of this country possibly being led by Cruz.”

As fill-in anchor Ayman Mohyeldin started to ask about Donald Trump’s “biggest rival” in the GOP race, Matthews interrupted: “Do you know him? Have you ever met Cruz?” Mohyeldin replied: “I have not. I don't know him.” Matthews sneered: “Well, when you do, you’ll know what I'm talking about....nobody likes him. No one who knows him likes him.”

Mohyeldin wondered: “Well, how is he doing so – how is he doing well in the polls at least?” Matthews ranted:

Because I think the anger that we see driving Trump, the anger on the right, white people, if you will, working white people, whatever that category gets defined as, are so angry, especially the very religious people, that they're willing to put somebody in there who's a complete enemy of the state. They’re willing to go all the way to the hardest far right rail. You can't be too hard right.

He added that with Trump and Cruz, “you’re seeing a battle between two fairly nasty campaigns for the hardest right position.”

Here is a transcript of December 22 exchange:

3:40 PM ET

(...)

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I expect if he [Donald Trump] keeps in there fighting against somebody like [Ted] Cruz they’re gonna realize something that really is scary to most moderates and progressives, that Cruz is scarier than Trump and that will be a frightening prospect to realize that Trump is the more – well, he’s not acceptable to progressives, but when you look at him against Cruz. I mean, Cruz, if we weren't talking about Trump, we’d be talking about the horror of this country possibly being led by Cruz. So, it's a strange competition and the people that are left out of this, it seems, are what used to be called the Republican establishment. I've noticed we’ve only used the word establishment now in terms of saying it's finished.

AYMAN MOHYELDIN: So let's talk a little bit about that. You’re talking about Ted Cruz, obviously he’s being considered as perhaps one of the biggest rivals. Who do you see as the biggest –  

MATTHEWS: Do you know him? Have you ever met Cruz?

MOHYELDIN: I have not. I don't know him.

MATTHEWS: Well, when you do, you’ll know what I'm talking about.

MOHYELDIN: Well, I mean, I’ve seen all of his comments, I follow him obviously a lot throughout the campaign trail.

MATTHEWS: But nobody likes him. No one who knows him likes him. His college roommate –

MOHYELDIN: Well, how is he doing so – how is he doing well in the polls at least?

MATTHEWS: Because I think the anger that we see driving Trump, the anger on the right, white people, if you will, working white people, whatever that category gets defined as, are so angry, especially the very religious people, that they're willing to put somebody in there who's a complete enemy of the state. They’re willing to go all the way to the hardest far right rail. You can't be too hard right.

I mean, here's a guy with a Cuban American background who’s very much against any legalization of anybody who comes to this country illegally ever. I mean, it’s a pretty strong position to be taking. How's that much different than Trump? It’s really hard right. And so, what's going on now is your battle between – you’re seeing a battle between two fairly nasty campaigns for the hardest right position.

(...)       

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