MSNBC's Chris Matthews baselessly claimed that "Democrats don't get and better damn get someday" that budget deficits are a "moral issue," and that it is "fairly predictable" that "Democrats will come in and start raising taxes."
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Reacting to findings in a Newsweek poll on the October 9 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews baselessly claimed that "Democrats don't get and better damn get someday" that budget deficits are a "moral issue," as blogger Digby first noted on the weblog Hullabaloo. In fact, as Media Matters for America noted when Matthews previously said, "I don't think the Democrats are any better" than Republicans when it comes to "fiscal responsibility," Bill Clinton's presidency was marked by a gradual reduction in budget deficits leading to four years of surpluses, while President Bush's tenure has seen record budget deficits. Matthews also claimed on the October 9 edition of Hardball that it was "stunning" that the Newsweek poll, conducted October 5-6, found that "Democrats are more trusted on moral values" than Republicans.
Later in the program, Matthews baselessly claimed it is "fairly predictable" that "Democrats will come in and start raising taxes." As Media Matters noted, on October 6, Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman falsely accused Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) of saying that if the Democrats take control of Congress, there will be "across-the-board tax increases." In fact, Rangel has said that, if the Democrats were to control the House and he were to become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Democrats "would not raise taxes" and "would not roll back" President Bush's tax cuts enacted by Congress that are set to expire in 2010.
From the October 9 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
FINEMAN: Our numbers are, by our poll measures, historic. Fifty-eight percent saying that they misled us into war. Only 29 percent say we're safer as a result of having gone there. Only 29 percent think we're making progress in Iraq. I mean, these are deadly, literally deadly numbers. And so when the topic --
MATTHEWS: No. You didn't give us the deadliest. Which is, Democrats are more trusted on moral values.
FINEMAN: I thought that was the next question.
MATTHEWS: I mean, that is the stunning -- the Democrats are the big-city party, the tolerance party, in many ways, libertarian on social and moral issues. And now they're perceived to be more priestly, more honorable on moral questions -- I guess that includes social questions and sexual questions -- than the Republicans.
FINEMAN: In fairness to the Democrats or to everybody, it's kind of a race to the bottom on that question.
But it is remarkable. It's a turnaround. I think about two or three months ago it was slightly in the Republicans' favor. Not overwhelmingly. Because I think the accumulated sort of aura of the money scandals on the Hill, no one of which made a big impression, but overall they kind of did. The notion of government spending being out of control, which by the way, a lot of people view as a moral issue. The borders not being protected. There's a lot of people --
MATTHEWS: That's something that Democrats don't get and better damn get someday, which is to Republicans, having budget deficits is --
FINEMAN: It's immoral. It's immoral, because we're wasting the assets of our own future, of our children's future. It's something people care about a lot.
MATTHEWS: Middle-of-the-road perspective?
EUGENE ROBINSON (Washington Post associate editor): I think if you're middle-of-the-road, there's no real percentage in voting for more of this. I mean, Iraq is still a really bad --
MATTHEWS: Well, you gotta vote for less taxes. You know the Democrats will come in and start raising taxes.
ROBINSON: Well, you don't have any money to pay taxes anyhow.
MATTHEWS: That is fairly predictable.
PAT BUCHANAN (MSNBC political analyst and former Republican presidential candidate): But that's one reason to go out and vote -- there's no doubt about it -- for Republicans. Republicans will make the tax cuts permanent, Democrats will let the old taxes increase.
ROBINSON: But what Pat said -- the economy, right, I mean, in a macro sense, it's doing pretty well, even with gas prices going down. I think in a lot of places, the loss of those manufacturing jobs and the fact that there's nothing but service jobs --
MATTHEWS: Is that the Republicans' fault, though? Whose fault is that?
ROBINSON: It's the fault of whoever's in office. It's the fault of the incumbents.