Ex-Newsweek Editor on Rick Perry: If Bush People Are Calling You Shallow, It's Time to Ask Questions
Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman, Sunday, offered a snarky, condescending take on both Rick Perry and George W. Bush. Appearing on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, he delivered a less than enthusiastic take on the new presidential candidate.
Talking to Matthews, he informed, "Some people, especially the Bush people, think that Rick Perry is shallow. They say he's- they say he's only in for the sound bites."
Fineman continued, "And you know when proponents of George Bush...are accusing Rick Perry of being shallow, you've got some questions to ask, okay?"
Fineman, who was the senior editor of Newsweek until October of 2010, now writes for the Huffington Post.
Fineman on July 25, 2011 accused Tea Party conservatives of creating a "slow motion succession."
Chris Matthews offered his own typically insulting take on the 2012 Republican field. Regarding their stated opposition to tax increases at last week's debate, he slammed, "They looked like they were at a wedding of some-a Moonie wedding or something. What was that-that seems like an opportunity blown by them."
The Moonie reference, of course, was a comparison to members of the Unification Church and has come to be slang for someone who is brainwashed.
A transcript of the two exchanges:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me ask about the Republicans. At this very moment they're having their big debut. They're all coming out in Iowa. Perry's coming out, everybody's running. And yet at the time, they all stood up there in that-in that debate this week and they put up their hands and said, 'I will not go along with any compromise on anything to do with the debt even if there's a $10 spending cut for every dollar of taxes.' They looked like they were at a wedding of some-a Moonie wedding or something. What was that-that seems like an opportunity blown by them.
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON (National Political Reporter, The Washington Post): Yes, and you can imagine that that's going to be in campaign ads for Obama and the Democrats and everyone running in 2012. I think one of the things you see that Obama is trying to do is he's trying to take the message to the public.
MATTHEWS: I wanted to know what the White House thinks about his-the opportunity to go after him. We asked The Matthews Meter the most opportune question of the week, 12 of our regulars, including Howard, about Rick Perry vs. Mitt Romney, the two hottest candidates right now. Which one of those will be easier for the Obama campaign to go negative against? Who's the fattest target? This is one of the great moments in this program's history because 11-1, one of the ones I really like, a knockout punch says Perry is a fatter target than Mitt Romney. Howard, you picked up on this. What do they see in this guy Perry, who to most of us is just a word, Rick Perry.
FINEMAN: Well, I've met Rick Perry. I've seen him in action. He's great for Texas.
MATTHEWS: Has he got a glass chin, glass jaw?
FINEMAN: I don't know if he's going to play nationally. There are a couple of things. First of all, we had George Bush. Most of the American people still blame George Bush for the economy, not Barack Obama. That's number one. Number two, Rick Perry hasn't answered questions nationally and is going to try to run away from the national press corps. I don't know if he can do it. There are questions about his record people haven't explored. Some people, especially the Bush people, think that Rick Perry is shallow. They say he's- they say he's only in for the sound bites. And you know when proponents of George Bush-
MATTHEWS: I think you're making your point, Howard.
FINEMAN: -the proponents of George W. Bush are accusing Rick Perry of being shallow, you've got some questions to ask, okay?
— Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.