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On the June 30 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews teased an upcoming segment by saying: "Up next: They're the working-class white voters Hillary won and Barack didn't. Can Obama win over the regular folks against John McCain?" During the following segment, which he started by asking "who will win the working-class vote this election, Barack Obama or John McCain," Matthews said to Reihan Salam, associate editor of The Atlantic, "I want you to tell me how the Republican Party can win the working stiff, the regular person who makes a regular income."
Matthews has previously asked if Obama was "too University of Chicago or too South Side Chicago" for working-class voters. Matthews posed the question after MSNBC senior campaign correspondent Tucker Carlson asserted that "the working-class voters of West Virginia and Kentucky, and their counterparts in a bunch of states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania" are "the voters you need to watch and he [Obama] needs to win." Matthews also previously questioned whether Obama can "connect with regular people" or if he appeals "only" to African-Americans and the well-educated. Talking with Obama supporter Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on the April 1 edition of Hardball, Matthews said: "Let me ask you about how he -- how's he connect with regular people? Does he? Or does he only appeal to people who come from the African-American community and from the people who have college or advanced degrees?"
From the June 30 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS: Up next: They're the working-class white voters Hillary won and Barack didn't. Can Obama win over the regular folks against John McCain? You're watching Hardball, only on MSNBC.
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to Hardball. So, who will win the working-class vote this election, Barack Obama or John McCain? Mike Barnicle is an MSNBC political analyst, and Reihan Salam is the associate editor at The Atlantic and author of the great new book Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.
Reihan, I want you to tell me how the Republican Party can win the working stiff, the regular person who makes a regular income.
SALAM: Well, what you need to do is address the anxieties, the cost of living, and particularly with regard to health care. Republicans are always trying to talk about the issues where they're strong -- national security, terrorism -- and they try to pretend like other issues don't exist. And that's a big, big mistake. They need to talk about them, and they need to offer serious comprehensive answers to those needs.