Matthews Tells Gingrich George Washington Was an Elite 'With a Couple of Hundred Slaves'

MSNBC's Chris Matthews doesn't just hate Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's money.

During an interview with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich on Hardball Thursday, the host disparaged George Washington as an elite "with a couple of hundred slaves" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

NEWT GINGRICH: Here’s the president’s problem. First of all, the president was the number one recipient of Wall Street money in 2008. The president was loved by everybody who he’s now attacking.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: For reasons that have nothing to do with economics. You smile but you know. These people on Wall Street never vote they’re economic interests when they vote for a liberal. They don’t, they don’t want regulation, they don’t want high taxes. They do it despite that whereas the Republican guys do it because they like those deals.

GINGRICH: I’m just reporting to you that your position which is if they’re for us, they’re not virtuous but if they’re for you, that’s virtuous.

Exactly. When a Wall Street person votes for a Democrat, folks like Matthews think it's out of principle. But when they vote for a Republican, it's out of greed:

MATTHEWS: No, no, no, I think a lot of people vote their interests, but in case of Wall Street, clearly the interest lies Republican.

GINGRICH: Here’s the problem, it’s twofold: one, Obama has set up a class warfare paradigm which people reject, and; two, his performance in the economy is so bad that a president with this level of unemployment attacking business I think is just not credible.

MATTHEWS: Let me try the class warfare the other way: suppose a guy comes along and says, “Look at me, I made a quarter billion bucks. If you do it my way, we win.” Isn’t that class warfare? If you benefit from having a guy as successful as me, that was his word, successful, we’ll have a better country. In other words, my wealth is my case for my presidency.

That's not what Romney is saying.

The point is that we for four years tried someone without any business experience and unemployment is still above eight percent.

Maybe someone with years under his belt running a company, managing people as well as a budget and a payroll will do better.

But here's the fun part:

GINGRICH: Well, that’s what George Washington would have said, that’s what, I mean, the fact is…

MATTHEWS: And they were elites.

GINGRICH: Historically what they would have said is they’re interested in ending, in ending poverty by leveling up not leveling down.

MATTHEWS: Just remember, Washington had a couple of hundred slaves and there was a different kind of politics.

So because America's first president, and one of the nation's most beloved historical figures, was wealthy and had slaves, his point of view should be ignored today?

That's quite telling, especially from a man like Matthews who so admires the late John F. Kennedy - the son of a man that became rich as a bootlegger during Prohibition.

Why is it the wealth of Democrats regardless of how it comes never seems to bother liberals, but any Republican with money is the devil incarnate?

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2012 Presidential Hardball MSNBC Video John F. Kennedy Newt Gingrich George Washington
Noel Sheppard's picture