Chris Matthews apparently misses moderating Republican debates and hectoring the candidates with bizarre questions. On Thursday's Hardball, hours before the first GOP face-off, the cable anchor dreamed up hypothetical queries he would like to see: "Question to Mr. Candidate, do you believe in evolution? Are you a fundamentalist who believes in the Bible as written? Has man been around millions of years or, say, just about 6000?"
Apparently this question is crucial as it determines "whether you believe in science or not." On the week Osama bin Laden was killed, Matthews added this relevant inquiry: "A question for the fundamentalists who give that answer, why do we conduct health experiments for people on animals if there's no relation?"
The liberal anchor also wondered, "Do you wish to outlaw abortion and if so what should be the punishment? If having an abortion doesn't deserve punishment, why are you pushing to outlaw it?"
[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Matthews mocked the contenders who haven't yet announced, saying they're worried about the "buzzsaw" that separates "the wackos in the Republican Party from the serious candidates to lead America."
Matthews did moderate a GOP debate in 2007. He hyperventilated about Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. The journalist asked then-candidate Jim Gilmore if he would even allow Rove into the White House.
Hard to believe he hasn't been asked to manage another Republican debate.
A transcript of the May 5 segment, which aired at 5:59pm EDT, follows:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with tonight with the Republicans. They're having a debate tonight. Not too exciting, really. The candidates are former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, a legalize marijuana advocate. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania senator, defeated by 20 points in the last election, Rick Santorum. Congressman Ron Paul in Texas who runs until his filing deadlines in the House and businessman Herman Cain, the creator of Godfather Pizza. Okay, remember the year the NFL players went on strike? We called the replacements. You know, the guys we called to take the place of the actual players? Is that what's happening to the Republican Party this year? They're fielding the replacements? Well, they've have got a few more on the bench that normally don't make the professional grade. Not in this profession. Newt Gingrich, you've been to be kidding, that he's still in public life, let alone casting himself for President. Just remind yourself how come this guy isn't Speaker of the House anymore. Do yourself a favor, google the guy. Maybe he should Google himself before he gets in this thing.
Donald Trump. Well, let's watch and see. He's the guy that says he deserves credit for the birther craze. Well, he reports, you decide. Four years ago this year, this week, rather, I moderated a debate at the Reagan library. Look at the candidates back then, some name brands in that room, America's mayor, Rudy Giuliani Governor Mitt Romney, Senator John McCain. A couple things impressed me about this year's list. No office holders, really. Only one hopeful is even serving in public office. That's Ron Paul, who I'm convinced is running to get out his message, not actually become president. I think I know why the real candidates might not be out there in the field right now. They're wary of getting into the buzzsaw that separates the wackos in the Republican Party from the serious candidates to lead America.
Here are a set of questions I would put to them tonight if I were in the debate, moderating it. Call them the buzzsaw, but they tell you precisely why the Republican Party has a problem right now. Question to Mr. Candidate, do you believe in evolution? Are you a fundamentalist who believes in the Bible as written? Has man been around millions of years or, say, just about 6,000? It's a key question, because it raises the matter of whether you believe in science or not. A question for the fundamentalists who give that answer, why do we conduct health experiments for people on animals if there's no relation? Do you believe man affects climate change? There's a good one. Do you wish to outlaw abortion and if so what should be the punishment? If having an abortion doesn't deserve punishment, why are you pushing to outlaw it? Do you support a return to Don't Ask, Don't Tell? There's a good one. Do you support removing Medicare from existence and replacing it with a subsidy? I'm just guessing, but you probably know the Tea Party approved answers to all those questions. If you're not prepared to give those Tea Party answers, if you're one of those Republican moderates out there, don't bother to bring your toothbrush, you won't be at this jamboree for long.