Ignoring his own history, Matthews asserted, "Huckabee has got the biggest free ride from the liberal media"

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

MSNBC's Chris Matthews said of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, "I think Huckabee has got the biggest free ride from the liberal media that I have ever seen in my life. I mean, the guy, if you want to get into conspiracy theories -- I mean why is everybody who is liberal pushing Huckabee? Give me a break." However, during the November 8 edition of Hardball, Matthews introduced an interview with Huckabee by comparing him with the other Republican presidential candidates and asking, "[W]hy are prominent Christian conservatives bypassing former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to support a New Yorker with liberal positions on social issues, a senator who's had poor relations with evangelicals, and a Mormon who's changed his position on abortion?" Matthews went on to say, "[I]t's an honor to have you on the show. Everybody likes you, Governor Huckabee. We're waiting for those poll numbers to reflect it. Everybody around here seems to like you, and we'll see what that's worth. Anyway, good luck in Iowa."

During the November 26 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Chris Matthews -- host of MSNBC's Hardball --said of Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, "I think Huckabee has got the biggest free ride from the liberal media that I have ever seen in my life. I mean, the guy, if you want to get into conspiracy theories -- I mean why is everybody who is liberal pushing Huckabee? Give me a break." Matthews did not explain what he meant by "the liberal media" or "everybody who is liberal"; however, during the November 8 edition of Hardball, Matthews introduced an interview with Huckabee by comparing him with the other Republican presidential candidates and asking, "[W]hy are prominent Christian conservatives bypassing former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee to support a New Yorker with liberal positions on social issues, a senator who's had poor relations with evangelicals, and a Mormon who's changed his position on abortion?" As The Daily Howler's Bob Somerby noted, Matthews went on to say, "[I]t's an honor to have you on the show. Everybody likes you, Governor Huckabee. We're waiting for those poll numbers to reflect it. Everybody around here seems to like you, and we'll see what that's worth. Anyway, good luck in Iowa."

Further, during an interview with Huckabee on the November 20 edition of Hardball, Matthews asserted, "You must know, when you travel around -- I mean, when you come here, everybody seems to like you. You seem to have an appeal to the American people right now, Governor, that wasn't expected when we first looked at the shape of this field. Can you explain it?" Matthews went on to say, "You know, it sounds like -- and I mean this with respect -- it sounds like you're a bit of Martin Luther. You're a 'Here I stand' kind of guy."

Also during the November 26 Morning Joe, Matthews discussed the campaigns of Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor, and Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, and after comparing Giuliani's campaign to "a pingpong ball in a bathroom," Matthews asserted of Romney, "I think it's very hard for a guy like Romney, who is kind of a set piece, with all that perfection of his, to keep up with him." This is not the first time that Matthews has commented on Romney's purported physical perfection, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented. Moreover, Media Matters has documented numerous instances in which Matthews has heaped praise on Republican candidates for president. Matthews has touted Giuliani as a "hero," saying that Southerners "can't spell his name necessarily, but they know Rudy was a hero." Matthews further called Giuliani "the ultimate street politician," adding, "He was there on the curb when 9-11 struck. He had soot on his face." He also called Giuliani a "street fighter" and described him as "somebody who's clear and present and right there answering our questions," and who "gives us the awful truth." In addition, Mathews also previously praised John McCain as "kind of like a Martin Luther" and has said he "deserves to be" president.

From the November 26 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

MATTHEWS: One thing you notice when you read all the papers this morning is how Rudy -- how good Rudy is at this rapid response. He's used to that New York media, with a constant buzz. Every minute you got to respond and respond and respond and respond. And he, if you look at every time somebody like Romney takes a shot at him, he's right back on the guy's tail and hits him from behind again. He just keeps up with the thing. He loves this thing. And Rudy, in real time, minute to minute, is totally aware of what's going on in the campaign. It's not like he sits down with his staff and has to think through each cycle. He's in the cycle. And that's what separates him from these other guys. He's like a pinball machine, or a pingpong ball in a bathroom. It's all bouncing around like local news in New York.

JOE SCARBOROUGH (host): Yeah.

MATTHEWS: You know what I mean? There is a killing in Canarsie -- bum, bum, bum. There is a shooting in Brooklyn. I mean, that's how he talks, you know: quick, quick, quick, quick, quick. And I think it's very hard for a guy like Romney, who is kind of a set piece, with all that perfection of his, to keep up with him.

[...]

MATTHEWS: I don't know how this thing's going to end up. I mean, Rudy desperately -- if he pulls this thing off -- is desperately going to need a Southern boy from the Bible Belt, somebody that can do what he can't do, is to go around the South and in that part of the country that is very religious and be the straight arrow. But --

SCARBOROUGH: What about Huckabee, who [conservative columnist Robert] Novak just goes after?

MATTHEWS: I think Huckabee has got the biggest free ride from the liberal media that I have ever seen in my life. I mean, the guy, if you want to get into conspiracy theories -- I mean why is everybody who's liberal pushing Huckabee? Give me a break.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, why is everybody who's liberal pushing Huckabee?

MATTHEWS: Because it creates complete chaos in the Republican Party. If he wins in Iowa, what does that tell you about anything? He's not going to win the nomination. It's going to tell you that people have rejected Romney and selected some guy who's a country boy, who's the pure seed -- the absolute Second Amendment guy. I mean, have you heard what he says about the Second Amendment? He doesn't say keep a gun so you can be a sportsman. He doesn't say keep a gun to protect yourself.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI (co-host): No.

MATTHEWS: He says you need guns to protect you from your government. If you don't have a gun, then all your other rights are no longer inalienable. They can be taken from you at a moment. So you need to have guns to fight tyranny. This is the black helicopter stuff.

Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Chris Matthews
Show/Publication
Hardball, Morning Joe
Stories/Interests
Mitt Romney, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.