Chris Matthews on Thursday smeared Congressman Steve King as a racist, declaring that the Republican representative is "prejudiced against Latinos." The liberal cable anchor came to the conclusion while discussing King's attempts to change the 14th Amendment to exclude so-called "anchor babies."
Matthews played a 2011 clip of the congressman asserting that illegals "sneak into the United States for...the purposes of having the baby" and then " they get the little birth certificate with their little feet prints on there." The host pounced, "And the derogatory way he talks, you got the sense he might just be prejudiced against Latinos. Just a guess. Just a guess." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Guest Michael Steele retorted, "I know Steve well and I don't get that sense from him."
Offensive, hyperbolic smears against conservatives are common on MSNBC. On Wednesday, Martin Bashir compared Rick Scott, the GOP governor of Florida, to a murderous communist dictator. On February 14, 2012, Bashir said that Rick Santorum was just like Joseph Stalin.
On November 30, 2010, host Chris Jansing mocked Congressman King as a "radical right-winger" just prior to interviewing him.
A transcript of the January 10 exchange is below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Remember anchor babies, to use a term another way? Congressman Steve King introduced a bill back in 2011, two years ago now, to clarify in his words the 14th Amendment. The amendment, by the way, grants citizenship to anyone born -- it was written after the Civil War for African-Americans, obviously. Well, King argued it was not meant to include babies of illegal immigrants. Take a look.
REP. STEVE KING: Anchor babies are babies that are born in the United States to an illegal mother. And the practice over the years has been to grant automatic citizenship to babies born on U.S. soil. They sneak into the United States for the -- many of them for the purposes of having the baby. They get the little birth certificate with their little feet prints on there, and then they either stay here or they go back to their home country and wait until that child comes of age. And then that child -- they use that child to apply to bring in the family, the nuclear family, then the extended family. And it's out of control.
MATTHEWS: Well, you might expect something like that from the man who questioned whether Barack Obama's mom might have sent his birth announcement by telegram from Kenya.
Well, King is at it again with anchor babies. He introduced a new bill last week, with the statement: "The current practice of extending U.S. citizenship to hundreds of thousands of anchor babies must end because it creates a magnet for illegal immigration into our country."
Let me ask you. There's something about the way that guy talks that I don't like. He talks about having illegal mothers -- illegal mothers, like having the baby was the illegal act, and the little feet, and the little feet prints. And the derogatory way he talks, you got the sense he might just be prejudiced against Latinos. Just a guess. Just a guess.
STEELE: Well, I don't know. I know Steve well and I don't get that sense from him.