The journalists on MSNBC, Friday, were partially disturbed and partially relieved as they parsed the tea leaves on how the final Brett Kavanaugh vote would go. On the one hand, Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski is a “profile in courage” for voting against the Supreme Court nominee. But Senator Susan Collins might fall victim to the “very right-wing” desires of Maine.
Talking to Chuck Todd in the 12pm hour, Andrea Mitchell fretted over moderate Collins voting yes on Kavanaugh in a cloture vote: “Susan Collins from Maine, it’s a blue state. But... there is a deep conservative strain in Maine as well, politically conservative strain. Not just conservative in the broader context, but very right-wing conservative as well.”
One might tell Mitchell to turn of the warning sirens for Maine. The State hasn’t voted for a GOP presidential nominee in 30 years. Yes, Republicans like Governor LePage have been elected, as well as two moderate GOP senators. But the state is hardly “right wing conservative.”
A few minutes later, Chris Matthews cheered Murkowski for defying her party and voting against Kavanaugh: “Murkowski has always been tough as nails. She has got guts and she is a profile in courage, but she also was able to prove that she could beat her party.”
He gushed, “She’s gutsy and tough. She’s tougher than Trump. And that’s a hell of a statement politically.”
Matthews loves “profiles in courage,” so long as they result in liberal gains. On Thursday, he cheered red state Democrat for being a “profile in courage” as she opposed Kavanaugh.
A transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Andrea Mitchell Reports
ANDREA MITCHELL: Susan Collins from Maine, it’s a blue state. But as you pointed out earlier today, Governor LePage, there is a deep conservative strain in Maine as well, politically conservative strain. Not just conservative in the broader context, but very right-wing conservative as well.
CHUCK TODD: I would call it more of the Trump wing of the party, right? I do think, I'd like to split sort of small C conservatives and there is Trump conservatives and they don't always agree. and Paul LePage is more in the Trump style of the governing and of politicking. Susan Collins really more in the George Herbert walker Bush school to going ahead and name dropping Kennebunkport, Maine where Bush 41 spends a lot of time. And so it is — she comes from a different Republican party in Maine versus, and that is -- this is why it is a, you know, she is in a political vice. Politically, it is a no-win situation for her.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Murkowski has always been tough as nails. She has got guts and she is a profile in courage, but she also was able to prove that she could beat her party. She was knocked out in the primary. She came right back in the general.
MITCHELL: She was a write-in vote.
MATTHEWS: She’s gutsy and tough. She’s tougher than Trump. And that’s a hell of a thing politically.
MATTHEWS: I will say something about your point in Wall Street, and if they thought this picture of the nominee looked good to the American people, they wouldn't have come up with a new picture on the election day, basically. The Wall Street journal op-ed was to cover up what everybody saw on television and so I think that they know that they have a problem. Bill Shine is probably at work here. The old Wall Street Journal, Fox News connection, a little P.R. there. Put him on Fox Then put him on the Wall Street Journal. But they knew some makeup work on that guy. That guy, he was not the picture of to Supreme Court justice. He just wasn't.