Matthews: "Pennsylvania prefers a beefier sort to either of these people, a more rustic, tougher sort than" Obama or Clinton

››› ››› RYAN CHIACHIERE

During MSNBC's March 4 election coverage, Chris Matthews said, "[N]either one of these candidates, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, are perfectly customized for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania prefers a beefier sort to either of these people, a more rustic, tougher sort than either of them." Matthews has discussed "beef[iness]" in the context of presidential politics before.

During MSNBC's March 4 coverage of that day's presidential primaries and caucuses, co-host Chris Matthews said, "[N]either one of these candidates, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, are perfectly customized for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania prefers a beefier sort to either of these people, a more rustic, tougher sort than either of them."

Matthews has discussed "beef[iness]" in the context of presidential politics before:

  • On the October 30, 2007, edition of MSNBC's Hardball, Matthews said to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), "I look at a man here in front of me, a big, beefy kind of guy, a very good-looking guy, who would be the perfect running mate for Hillary Clinton -- dynamite, perfectly placed to stop Rudy Giuliani in his tracks. Are you that man, Ed Rendell?"
  • Speaking to Rendell on the October 19, 2007, edition of Hardball, Matthews said, referring to Clinton: "I have been urging in my own brain the idea of you for her running mate, because -- no, I think she needs a big, beefy, ruddy, regular guy, you know, a Brian Dennehy sort." He added, "A real regular guy. You know, she doesn't need some sort of skinny guy from the Midwest. She needs a real guy, you know?"
  • On the August 8, 2007, edition of Hardball, Matthews asserted, "I don't see a big, beefy alternative to Hillary Clinton -- a big guy. You know what I mean? An ... every-way big guy. I don't see one out there. I see a lot of slight, skinny, second- and third-rate candidates." Matthews prefaced his comment by saying, "I guess I'm thinking of an Eddie Rendell were in the race -- the governor of Pennsylvania -- or if [former Vice President] Al Gore were in the race or someone else who's a good heavyweight to be running."
  • On the August 3, 2005, edition of Hardball, Matthews asserted, "Do you think Hillary Clinton can take the beefier industrial states, where the men have boats and guns and tend to like traditional women, like Michigan, like Illinois, like Pennsylvania? Do you think they would like Hillary Clinton, the cut of her jib, out there?" On the December 29, 2007, edition of Hardball, Matthews also cited purported gun and boat ownership by Ohio and Michigan voters as an impediment to Clinton's electoral success there.

Notwithstanding Matthews' claim on March 4 that neither Obama nor Clinton is "perfectly customized for Pennsylvania," on the March 5 edition of Hardball, Matthews discussed the state with former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R) -- a McCain supporter -- and asserted: "It is, in fact, a perfect state for someone like you politically or Senator Clinton, perhaps."

Matthews' March 4 comments were noted by Salon's War Room blog.

From the March 5 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: How can Obama beat Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, which, as you describe it, is regular, middle of the road politically. It's economically middle, middle, middle. It's culturally conservative. It's the John Wayne state, not the Jane Fonda state, as [late Pennsylvania Gov.] Bob Casey [D] put it. It is, in fact, a perfect state for someone like you politically or Senator Clinton, perhaps. Is it an Obama state?

From MSNBC's March 4 coverage of that day's presidential primaries:

MATTHEWS: So neither one of these candidates, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, are perfectly customized for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania prefers a beefier sort to either of these people, a more rustic, tougher sort than either of them -- and yet both of them will be showing off each other's weaknesses, for seven straight weeks, which is great news for the people in that state like Tom Ridge and David Girard-diCarlo and all the other big Republicans who are hoping that John McCain can poach that state. It's not good news to spend seven weeks in Pennsylvania blasting each other if you're Democrats.

From the October 30, 2007, edition of Hardball:

MATTHEWS: I look at a man here in front of me, a big, beefy kind of guy, a very good-looking guy, who would be the perfect running mate for Hillary Clinton -- dynamite, perfectly placed to stop Rudy Giuliani in his tracks. Are you that man, Ed Rendell?

RENDELL: No, I'm not that man.

From the October 19, 2007, edition of Hardball:

MATTHEWS: Well, speaking of that, let me at him, I have been urging in my own brain the idea of you for her running mate, because -- no, I think she needs a big, beefy, ruddy, regular guy, you know, a Brian Dennehy sort.

RENDELL: Brian Dennehy.

MATTHEWS: A real regular guy. You know, she doesn't need some sort of skinny guy from the Midwest. She needs a real guy, you know?

You ready?

RENDELL: Well, I think I qualify on the big and beefy side.

From the August 3, 2005, edition of Hardball (from the Nexis database transcript):

MATTHEWS: Do you think Hillary Clinton can take the beefier industrial states, where the men have boats and guns and tend to like traditional women, like Michigan, like Illinois, like Pennsylvania? Do you think they would like Hillary Clinton, the cut of her jib, out there?

Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Chris Matthews
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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