A seemingly befuddled Chris Matthews on Tuesday interviewed former
Senator Arlen Specter, gleefully (and incorrectly) referring to the
Democrat as a Republican. Downplaying the fact that Specter
switched parties, Matthews bellowed, "Your party has become a right-wing party."
After mentioning the plight of Charlie Crist, who was defeated by Marco Rubio in a Republican senatorial primary, Matthews shrieked, "He lost the Senate race because he contacted [hugged] the President physically once. This is what is going on in your party."
Again, the Republican Party is not Specter's party. Just getting warmed up, Matthews complained, "And so the party of Lincoln has became the party of Strom Thurmond, hasn't it?" [MP3 audio here.]
The forgetful Matthews apparently is unaware that Thurmond rose to
prominence as a Democrat, that he spent 39 years as a Democrat.
Regarding Matthews' comment about Crist and his hug of President Bush, perhaps the MSNBC host has similarly lost track of the fact that liberals excoriated Joe Lieberman for "kissing" George W. Bush.
The never-subtle host railed against Rick Santorum's regret over supporting Arlen Specter: "And now we have inquisitions in the Republican Party...And that's all these guys do now. Anything that sounds moderate or reasonable."
Making the whole conversation more odd, Matthews did inform viewers at the beginning of the segment that Specter was no longer a Republican: "Arlen Specter was a member of that [moderate] wing for many years before switching parties in 2009." He then seemed to immediately forget.
A partial transcript of the March 20 segment, which aired at 5:30pm, follows: