Chris Matthews echoed right-wing pundits; said Bill Clinton hopes Kerry loses

››› ››› NICOLE CASTA, KATIE BARGE & ANDREW SEIFTER

On the same day The New York Times reported that former President Bill Clinton is planning to "lend a political hand" to Senator John Kerry as Clinton tours the country to promote his forthcoming book and that Clinton is "going out of his way not to overshadow" Kerry, Chris Matthews -- host of NBC's Sunday-morning program The Chris Matthews Show and of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews -- asserted that Clinton would "rather keep that [presidential] seat warm for Hillary [Clinton] than have it filled by that guy from Massachusetts [Kerry]."

Matthews's comment echoed recent remarks made by right-wing pundits and came during a June 14 discussion with Hardball guest Terry P. Jeffrey, editor of the conservative weekly magazine Human Events.

From the June 14 edition of Hardball:

MATTHEWS: Well, maybe they [President George W. Bush and Clinton] have a mutual -- maybe they have a mutual interest in a Democrat not winning this November. Am I the... [laughter] cynic?

JEFFREY: Well, that may be true, too.

MATTHEWS: You would agree with that, too, Terry, wouldn't you? You're laughing because you know he would rather keep that seat warm for Hillary than have it filled by that guy from Massachusetts [Kerry].

JEFFREY: Well, I think that's exactly right, Chris. I think that Bill Clinton right now basically is Hillary Clinton's campaign manager for 2008. If John Kerry is elected in November, that's bad news for the Clintons. I do believe they would like to see George Bush reelected.

Also on June 14, radio host Rush Limbaugh made similar comments during his national broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: What's happening today is the build up to the big Bill Clinton book. We're getting ready for Bill Clinton summer, not John Kerry summer. And it's all starting to make sense to me. This isn't about electing Kerry. It never has been. It's about Hillary in 2008.

One day earlier, Dick Morris, the onetime Clinton adviser turned FOX News Channel political analyst -- and author of Rewriting History, "a rebuttal to Hillary's bestselling autobiography [Living History]" -- was a guest on Internet gossip Matt Drudge's radio show and made similar claims. From the June 13 broadcast:

MORRIS: I think if there's one fundamental reality about this election, it's that Bill Clinton does not want John Kerry to win, because he wants Hillary to have a complete shot on goal for the year 2008, should they want an open White House to run on.

And on June 15, David N. Bossie -- the discredited former Republican congressional staffer, longtime Clinton-basher, and author of the forthcoming book The Many Faces of John Kerry: Why this Massachussetts Liberal is Wrong for America -- was a guest on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, where he echoed Matthews and right-wing pundits Limbaugh and Morris:

BOSSIE: He [Bill Clinton] is clearly trying to affect this election. And I don't think it's for John Kerry's interests. As a matter of fact, the only way Bill Clinton gets back into the White House is if his wife is elected. And that's, in my opinion, how they calculate. And the Clintons calculate everything they do.

Stories/Interests
2004 Elections
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