Discussing religious questions asked at the November 28 CNN/YouTube Republican presidential debate, Chris Matthews said: "[T]hese questions are getting very liturgical. How literal do you take the [Bible]? Where did Jesus stand on capital punishment? ... Why are candidates for the presidency being asked religious questions?" But Matthews voiced no objections over the September 26 Democratic debate, which was moderated by Matthews' NBC colleague Tim Russert, who asked of the candidates, "[W]hat is your favorite Bible verse?"
MSNBC's Chris Matthews said of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, "I think Huckabee has got the biggest free ride from the liberal media that I have ever seen in my life. I mean, the guy, if you want to get into conspiracy theories -- I mean why is everybody who is liberal pushing Huckabee? Give me a break." However, during the November 8 edition of Hardball, Matthews introduced an interview with Huckabee by comparing him with the other Republican presidential candidates and asking, "[W]hy are prominent Christian conservatives bypassing former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to support a New Yorker with liberal positions on social issues, a senator who's had poor relations with evangelicals, and a Mormon who's changed his position on abortion?" Matthews went on to say, "[I]t's an honor to have you on the show. Everybody likes you, Governor Huckabee. We're waiting for those poll numbers to reflect it. Everybody around here seems to like you, and we'll see what that's worth. Anyway, good luck in Iowa."
Reporting on Pat Robertson's endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, MSNBC anchor Peter Alexander asserted, "Giuliani and Robertson: both prostate cancer survivors, both strong supporters of Israel." MSNBC campaign reporter Matthew Berger stated, "They have traveled to Israel together." And NBC News political director Chuck Todd said that "to a lot of evangelicals, the war against Islamic fundamentalism, protecting Israel is actually a bigger issue than some of these other issues." But at no point in discussing Robertson and Israel did an MSNBC news anchor or Todd note Robertson's past controversial comments regarding former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination.