On Wednesday's Hardball, Chris Matthews took a clip from a 24 year-old Ronald Reagan press conference and disingenuously passed it off as the Republican's take on "raising taxes to deal with the ballooning deficit."
Matthew's version was out of context and video from October 22, 1987 proves it. [See below for video. MP3 audio here.]
After playing a snippet of Reagan that had nothing to do with taxes, Matthews touted, "That was, of course, the great Ronald Reagan in his own words back in October of 1987 about raising taxes to deal with the ballooning deficit."
The host continued, "Well today, many Democrats in Congress have picked up on Reagan's comments about raising taxes and are using the most revered of Republican' s words against his own party."
What did Reagan actually say on October 22, 1987? He asserted:
RONALD REAGAN: ...The spending is roughly 23 to 24 percent. So that it is in - it is what is increasing, while revenues are staying proportionately the same and what would be the proper amount they should - that we should be taking from the private sector.
And I think that this is something we have to consider, if we're going to maintain prosperity.
I will say this, with regard to taxes or sources of revenue: we must not do something that has an adverse affect - affect - on the economy.
But I'm going to tell you, I have not changed my opinion about ever accepting a tax that will have a deleterious effect on the economy, and most tax increases do. Taxing is not the policy, or the problem, with the deficit. The deficit is due to too much spending. Every dollar of increased revenue since 1980 - and that means including our tax cuts -every dollar of increased revenue has been matched by a dollar and a quarter of increased spending.
Matthews was not being honest with his audience by trying to portay his brief clip as "the most revered of Republican' s words against his own party."