Appearing on NBC's Today, Chris Matthews claimed the economy is "fabulous" based on his false assertion that the "market's up around 13,000." In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11,986.04 on November 3. Matthews also misleadingly suggested President Bush is popular in most Western states and that the Iraq war "isn't terrifically hated" in Missouri.
In a discussion with co-host Meredith Vieira on the November 6 edition of NBC's Today, MSNBC host Chris Matthews claimed that the economy is "fabulous" based on his false assertion that the "market's up around 13,000." In fact, on November 3, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11,986.04.
Also during his Today appearance, Matthews misleadingly suggested President Bush is popular in Western states. Matthews declared that "the president is not unpopular everywhere" because "[i]n Utah, Idaho, in Montana, they like him, he's about 50-some percent." Matthews then claimed that "[y]ou move across the country toward the East, when you get to Missouri ... [t]hat's where the president's about 40 percent, he's not really that bad off." But Matthews's suggestion that Bush becomes unpopular only as "[y]ou move across the country toward the East" is not supported by polling. While Matthews did name three states in which, based on figures from a SurveyUSA poll released on October 17, Bush has a higher approval rating than disapproval rating, there is only one other state in the country -- Wyoming -- about which this is true. Moreover, the poll shows that in one of those states -- Montana -- Bush has a 50 percent approval rating versus 48 percent disapproval. Regarding Matthews's claim that Bush isn't "really that bad off" in Missouri, according to a poll released on October 29 by Research 2000, 55 percent of respondents in Missouri had an "unfavorable" opinion of Bush, compared with 42 percent who had a favorable opinion of him. The SurveyUSA poll showed Bush with a 38-percent approval rating in Missouri, compared with 59-percent disapproval.
Matthews also claimed that the war in Iraq "isn't terrifically hated" in Missouri. According to the Research 2000 poll, 57 percent of those polled in Missouri felt that it was not worth "going to war in Iraq for regime change," compared with 37 percent who said it was worth it. Neither Matthews nor Vieira noted polling on how Missourians feel about Iraq.
From the November 6 edition of NBC's Today:
VIEIRA: Let's talk about the toss-up races for the Senate: Rhode Island, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia, Montana. Of those, which one do you think is the bellwether state to watch?
MATTHEWS: Oh, I think the one in Missouri; I think Missouri is so much. If you look at the polling -- by the way, the president is not unpopular everywhere. In Utah, in Idaho, in Montana, they like him. He's about 50-some percent. You move across the country over towards the East, when you get to Missouri, he's about --
VIEIRA: Well, it's so close in Missouri. We've got the numbers right up.
MATTHEWS: And that's where the president's about 40 percent, he's not really that bad off. I think [Democratic Senate candidate Claire] McCaskill has to win this. And there is an exception to the Iraq rule. I think stem cell [research] and the Michael J. Fox commercial is probably the deciding factor in that state, it's so unique that way, because the war isn't terrifically hated there, the president's not terrifically hated, so they have to decide on this secondary issue. But the people who have diseases in their family, or fear diseases, the big ones, stem cell is a big issue.
VIEIRA: And finally, unemployment rate, lowest in five years. Will that help?
MATTHEWS: It's fabulous. It's fabulous. The market's up around 13,000.
VIEIRA: But that's gotta help the Republicans.
MATTHEWS: You would think so. But we're at war. And as I said, I think when you go in that voting booth, you're going to find Iraq there.