On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews praised a campaign advertisement by Vernon Robinson, a Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina, as "tough" and "strong," despite the ad's attacks on "homosexuals" and "the lesbians and feminists" and its reference to "aliens" who "didn't come in a spaceship," but rather "came across our unguarded Mexican border by the millions."
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On the July 10 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews aired a campaign advertisement by Vernon Robinson, the Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina's 13th district. The ad attacked "homosexuals"; "the lesbians and feminists"; and "aliens" who "didn't come in a spaceship," but rather "came across our unguarded Mexican border by the millions." Additionally, the ad attacked Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton in a way that Matthews acknowledged was "ethnic" and "over the top." Nevertheless, Matthews called the ad "tough" and "strong," adding that although it "makes fun of the other side viciously ... I'm going to remember this ad."
During a panel discussion featuring Time magazine White House correspondent Mike Allen and Bloomberg News political correspondent Roger Simon, Matthews aired clips of three political ads from the website YouTube.com, which hosts video content uploaded by users. The ad by Robinson -- who is African-American -- asserted that although "[s]even out of every 10 black children are born out of wedlock ... Jackson and Sharpton claim the answer is racial quotas." The ad also asserted that "[h]omosexuals are mocking holy matrimony," that "the lesbians and feminists are attacking everything sacred," and that "the aliens are here, but they didn't come in a spaceship. They came across our unguarded Mexican border by the millions."
In introducing the ad, Matthews called it "amazing," and "beyond the bounds of usual conversation." While he characterized the "shot at Jackson and Reverend Sharpton" as "[a] little ethnic" and agreed with Simon's assertion that it was "way over the top," Matthews later stated that he had "never seen ads this tough," and called the ad "strong." He added that although the ad "makes fun of the other side viciously ... I'm going to remember this ad."
From the July 10 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: Here's another political ad we found in the YouTube. It's from -- this is an amazing ad. Talk about going beyond the bounds of usual conversation. North Carolina conservative Vernon Robinson, he is running for Congress down there, he's a Republican nominee. But this time he's the nominee; last time he was an also-run. Take a look.
[begin video clip]
ANNOUNCER: If you're a conservative Republican, watching the news these days can make you feel as though you are in The Twilight Zone. Americans are under attack from Islamic extremists in every corner of the world. Homosexuals are mocking holy matrimony, and the lesbians and feminists are attacking everything sacred. Liberal judges have completely rewritten the Constitution. You can burn the American flag and kill a million babies a year, but you can't post the Ten Commandments or say "God" in public.
CHILDREN: One nation under --
ANNOUNCER: Seven out of every 10 black children are born out of wedlock, and Jackson and Sharpton claim the answer is racial quotas. And the aliens are here, but they didn't come in a spaceship. They came across our unguarded Mexican border by the millions.
VERNON ROBINSON: I'm Vernon Robinson. If you send me to Congress, I'll send that back to The Twilight Zone. I approve of this message and of traditional American values.
[end video clip]
MATTHEWS: What did you make of that shot at Jackson and Reverend Sharpton? A little ethnic, would you think?
SIMON: Yeah. It was way over the top. But, I mean --
ALLEN: It's idiotic, but obviously this gentleman's voters are not a highest-common-denominator crowd.
MATTHEWS: Right. So you're talking down to these people. That's going to help this guy who's doing this ad, you know, just what you just did there, Mike. But what do you think? This ad -- I mean, I've never seen ads this tough. This is tough, it's strong, it makes fun of the other side viciously, but I remember it. I'm going to remember this ad.
ALLEN: And there's a lot of people that watch that ad and say, "Amen."
SIMON: But it doesn't make fun of the other side; it attacks the other side. I think the most effective ads are the ones that make fun of the other side, as in the Lieberman ad. This was just a --
MATTHEWS: That didn't make fun of the Democrats, and Sharpton and Jackson?
SIMON: It was a dead-on attack. He wasn't making fun of them. It was just saying these people are evil and terrible, and vote for me and I'll make sure they --
MATTHEWS: By the way, I've never forgotten the piece you did with Jackson. What was it called, in "Road Show?"
MATTHEWS: When you sat all night with a tape recorder, the Reverend Jackson, who was quite a personality when you were with him, and you caught that personality, that interesting, edgy, sleepy, interesting middle-of- the-night conversation you had with Jackson, which is one of the best pieces of journalism I have ever seen. Because we watch these guys on TV, they perform. You got him at night, the real Jackson. What a show.
SIMON: Thank you. Every time you say that, my Amazon rating goes up.
MATTHEWS: Well, I've got to tell you, that is journalism. That's the old Joe McGinnis stuff, middle-of-the-night stuff.