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Matthews Dismisses Mitchell's Defense of Bush 41 Over Scanner Non-Gaffe

On Sunday's syndicated Chris Matthews Show, host Matthews dismissed NBC's Andrea Mitchell when she tried to correct his claim that President George H.W. Bush had never seen a checkout scanner before when he visited a supermarket during the 1988 presidential campaign.

He mentioned the since debunked Bush gaffe as he opened the show previewing a dicussion of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's supposed gaffes, leading guest Mitchell to address the Bush story, but Matthews was still unconvinced and declared, "I'm still not letting him off on that."

As Mitchell was finishing her first turn to speak near the beginning of the show, she made he attempt to correct Matthews. Mitchell: "A quick word about the supermarket scanner. That was an inaccurate pool report which followed him everywhere. I think even worse was, 'I'll have a splash of coffee.'"

Matthews replied: "Okay, why was it an inaccurate pool report?"

She explained: "Because he was actually asking how this particular scanner worked. He wasn't really asking-"

Unconvinced, the Chris Matthews Show host injected: "Well, I'm looking at the picture there. It looks like he hadn't seen one of those before."

After fellow guest Richard Stengel of Time magazine and Mitchell noted that Bush "didn't know the price of a loaf of bread," Matthews concluded: "Okay, I'm not letting him off on that."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, February 5, syndicated Chris Matthews Show:

ANDREA MITCHELL: A quick word about the supermarket scanner. That was an inaccurate pool report which followed him everywhere. I think even worse was, "I'll have a splash of coffee."

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay, why was it an inaccurate pool report?

MITCHELL: Because he was actually asking how this particular scanner worked. He wasn't really asking-

MATTHEWS: Well, I'm looking at the picture there. It looks like he hadn't seen one of those before.

RICHARD STENGEL, TIME MAGAZINE: And he didn't know the price of a loaf of bread.

MITCHELL: He didn't know the price of a loaf of bread.

MATTHEWS: Okay, I'm not letting him off on that.

- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center