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On the November 10 edition of C-SPAN's Book TV live from the 2007 Miami Book Fair International, while promoting his new book Life's a Campaign: What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation and Success (Random House, October 2007), MSNBC host Chris Matthews was asked, "[A]re there any success lessons from [Sen.] John McCain [R-AZ]?" During his answer, Matthews said: "I'm allowed to like certain people. I like [McCain], I like [Gov. Bill] Richardson [D-NM], I like some of these people. I like [Sen. Joe] Biden [D-DE]. There's some guys in this business that most people would like." He continued: "You don't have to think they should be president, although if John McCain were president tomorrow morning, I'd be happy, because even though I might not vote for -- or vote for him depending on the options, I just feel if he became president he would deserve it for what he's done for the country." Matthews added: "[D]eserve's a hard word, but he would deserve it. He served this country and the other guys haven't."
This is not the first time that Matthews has said that McCain "deserves to be president." As Media Matters for America has documented, Matthews has previously said that McCain "deserves to be president" because of his "contributions to the country over the years." As Media Matters has also noted, Matthews has described covering McCain's campaign's problems as the "worst part of [his] job." Furthermore, Matthews has frequently adopted the McCain campaign's talking point that McCain offers "straight talk," and has frequently praised the Arizona senator, including during a November 19, 2006, edition of his NBC-syndicated Chris Matthews Show, on which he referred to McCain as "kind of like a Martin Luther" and described him as a "smart hawk." More recently, Matthews repeated his description of McCain as a "maverick" who offers "straight talk" on the August 29 edition of MSNBC's Hardball.
From the November 10 edition of C-SPAN's Book TV:
PETER KRAMER (interviewer): In your book Life's a Campaign, are there any success lessons from John McCain?
MATTHEWS: Well, clearly, love of country is beyond a lesson. It's -- it's a wonderful thing. I mean, McCain is -- I absolutely believe he loves America, and I absolutely believe it came from the sacrifice that he endured for five and a half years, much of it in solitary, being beaten up -- look at -- he shows the marks. One of the reasons he looks old now beyond his years, is he was beaten the hell up by -- over there -- by those people whose nicknames he still has in his head that were beating him up over there, and I think -- I think he knows how to raise money a little bit. I have some stuff in there about how he says, "The good news is, there's a lot of money in the audience tonight, the bad news is a lot of it is still in your pocket" -- you know, I know he knows some of these tricks to sort of get an audience going. He doesn't have much money to run, he doesn't have a big-time campaign. He has to win in New Hampshire. We had him on last night with his mom, his 95-year-old mom, and that was to some extent his effort to let people know, "OK, I'm 71, I look old, but look, I got a 93-year-old mom, I got some good genes working here, I'm not going to crap out, if you will, some time in the first four years as president," you know. So I like him. I just -- I'm allowed to like certain people. I like him, I like Richardson, I like some of these people. I like Biden. There's some guys in this business that most people would like. You don't have to think they should be president, although if John McCain were president tomorrow morning, I'd be happy, because even though I might not vote for -- or vote for him depending on the options, I just feel if he became president, he would deserve it for what he's done for the country. He would, you know -- and deserve's a hard word, but he would deserve it. He served this country --
KRAMER: Does your --
MATTHEWS: -- and the other guys haven't. So few of these other people have put in their time for the country, you know, done things that were really sacrificial just for duty, and I think that he's got that covered in more ways than you can imagine, I think.