On Hardball, Chris Matthews, Dana Milbank, and Pat Buchanan discussed what they agreed were the likely political benefits to President Bush and congressional Republicans if he were to launch a pre-emptive war against Iran.
Citing the results of a new Pew Research Center poll -- in which 48 percent of respondents used "negative" words such as "incompetent," "idiot," or "liar" to describe President Bush -- Chris Matthews remarked: "I checked this twice. ... I couldn't believe it, but it's true." Matthews added: "[W]hat happened to respect?"
On two straight days, Chris Matthews cited hypothetical critics in saying that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is reluctant to admit she made a mistake in voting for the Iraq war resolution because she would be denigrated as a woman who is unable to make up her mind.
In reporting on Sen. Russ Feingold's call for the censure of President Bush for authorizing the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program, numerous media outlets have repeated the Republican talking point that Feingold's action provides an opportunity for Bush and the GOP to regain ground by turning the public's attention back to national security.
Discussing a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showing that just 39 percent of respondents expressed "positive" feelings toward President Bush, compared with 50 percent who expressed "negative" feelings, Chris Mathews stated: "I'm amazed when 50 percent of the people don't like him -- just don't like this guy."
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Chris Matthews claimed that "there's a big question about whether it's even legal or not in the Senate" to censure President Bush, as Sen. Russ Feingold recently proposed, over Bush's authorization of warrantless domestic surveillance. But Matthews said something very different about the issue of censure in the context of former President Bill Clinton, at that time taking credit for first promoting the idea of censuring Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky controversy: "I'm not bragging, but I believe I was the first person to talk about the notion of censure because nobody else talked about it."
Appearing on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore falsely claimed that there is "more oil offshore in America than there is in Saudi Arabia." In fact, according to the U.S. government, Saudi Arabia has as much as 10 times more oil resources than the U.S.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann awarded Rush Limbaugh top honors in his daily "Worst Person in the World" segment for Limbaugh's March 13 reference to journalists Jay Carney and Claire Shipman as "slave master and ... husband."
Think Progress reported that Chris Matthews "has received tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for delivering speeches to corporate interest groups," in apparent violation of an NBC policy. A Media Matters for America review of these interest groups' political contributions has revealed that in every election cycle since 1998, the groups gave more money to Republicans than to Democrats.
Chris Matthews again characterized Sen. John McCain as "a maverick," without providing any justification, adding that "everyone knows he's a solo fighter pilot out there." Matthews also asked Republican strategist Ed Rogers if Rogers's description of Republicans as "a pretty conservative lot, when it gets down to our activists and our workers," would "exclude John McCain."
In discussing Sen. John McCain's endorsement of President Bush in the March 9-12 Southern Republican Leadership Conference presidential straw poll on MSNBC's Hardball, Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the National Journal's The Hotline weblog, asserted that, for McCain, "right now, rallying around the president is the maverick thing to do."
Chris Matthews said that if Republicans choose Sen. John McCain as their 2008 presidential candidate, they will have "vote[d] for somebody who is not actually one of them." Matthews then mentioned five hot-button issues that he said "aren't the issues [McCain] talks about." In fact, on three of those issues, McCain is very much "one of them."
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) corrected host Chris Matthews's claim that "people trust Republicans more than Democrats" to handle taxes. Matthews asked Emanuel, "Why do people trust Republicans more than Democrats on tax cutting?" Emanuel replied: "[I]if you look at even your own data and your own polling, they don't." Recent polling supports Emanuel's contention that more Americans trust Democrats than Republicans on taxes.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, called Sen. Russ Feingold's introduction of a resolution to censure President Bush "borderline treasonous behavior."
In covering the straw poll of Republican presidential hopefuls at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Chris Matthews characterized Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a "maverick," "kind of a party renegade," and a "lone gun," despite McCain's request that conference attendees cast write-in votes in support of President Bush.