Matthews: "[W]hat do you have with McCain? Integrity"

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

On Hardball, Chris Matthews asserted: "Look, the war's not going to be any more popular in November. It may be somewhat OK with 30, 40 percent of the people, but it's never going to be a winner. The economy's not going to be a winner. So what do you have with [Sen. John] McCain? Integrity." But Matthews did not note his own role in promoting that image of McCain, despite numerous false assertions and inconsistencies.

During the May 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews asserted: "Look, the war's not going to be any more popular in November. It may be somewhat OK with 30, 40 percent of the people, but it's never going to be a winner. The economy's not going to be a winner. So what do you have with [Sen. John] McCain? Integrity. Who's the best person to run against on integrity? Hillary [Clinton]. Based upon all the numbers we have, she has a candor, an honesty problem." But in asserting that the public views McCain as having "integrity," Matthews did not note the media's role generally and his own role in promoting that image. In Matthews' case, that promotion includes frequent references to McCain as a "maverick," someone who has "always been honest," and someone who displays "candor" and engages in "straight talk," despite numerous false assertions and inconsistencies.

From the May 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: The thing that makes me think that the old attempt by the conservatives -- and including non-party people like Pat Buchanan -- to run against Hillary is, every time I sit against Pat Buchanan here, he doesn't give it away, I just know what he's up to. Because Pat Buchanan has a number of brains. One brain is for analysis, which he uses. The other one is for strategy. He is giggling at the idea of going against Hillary Clinton in the general. And here's my theory -- I don't know why I'm saying this. You're supposed to say this.

KEN BLACKWELL (former Ohio secretary of state): Well, look, Chris --

MATTHEWS: Look, the war's not going to be any more popular in November. It may be somewhat OK with 30, 40 percent of the people, but it's never going to be a winner. The economy's not going to be a winner. So what do you have with McCain? Integrity. Who's the best person to run against on integrity? Hillary. Based upon all the numbers we have, she has a candor, an honesty problem. Isn't that the smartest move for you guys?

BLACKWELL: Susan is absolutely right when she said, a couple of months ago, they probably were rooting on Hillary --

FORMER REP. SUSAN MOLINARI (R-NY): Yeah, I think [unintelligible].

BLACKWELL: -- because she had known negatives. And they thought she had a ceiling of about 52 percent. But what this Reverend Wright incident has done, you know, has brought down his popularity, risen -- has pumped up his negatives, and he is now --

MOLINARI: And the other thing that she's been able to do in this race, both -- he's enabled her to do, obviously, is to appear much more moderate, doing Bill O'Reilly, you know, getting union endorsements, seeming like the reasonable -- again, you know, this is the woman that can win, you know, a lot of those Reagan Democrats in Pennsylvania, right?

MATTHEWS: [unintelligible]

MOLINARI: There are a lot of them in Staten Island, New York, who will not vote for Barack Obama now as a result of the Reverend Wright [unintelligible].

MATTHEWS: Are they anti-Barack votes or are they pro-Hillary votes? In other words, are those people ready to vote for Hillary now, but they really are planning to vote for McCain later?

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Chris Matthews
Show/Publication
Hardball
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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