MSNBC's Chris Matthews compared the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to the cantina from Star Wars in a bizarre rant on Thursday's Hardball. Matthews trashed the gathering and took aim at "the Joe McCarthy imitator" Sen. Ted Cruz.
Matthews couldn't get the event name right, though: "Do you remember the bar scene in Star Wars with all those wild-eyed creatures from every part of the solar system? Well today here in Washington the whole tapestry of weirdness was reenacted at the annual convention of something called CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Committee [sic]."
[Video below. Audio here.]
Matthews called CPAC "the far-out sharing space with the even further-out" and called Cruz "the leader of the 'let's torch this place' pack." He then tried to deconstruct Cruz's attack on the IRS. The disparaging on-screen identifier for his subsequent first guest segment: "Clown Car Conference."
In another bizarre rant the day before, on Wednesday, Matthews compared the GOP to himself as a kid brother taking the opposite stance of the older brother, in that case President Obama:
"I generally notice that whenever President Obama takes a position, the other party attacks it, then takes another position for itself. It reminds me of how as a kid, my older brother Bert would root for the New York Yankees, forcing me out of the second-oldest birthright, to root for the Cleveland Indians, of course. How he would root for the Navy, and of course forcing me to take the side of the Army. How he would root for the North in the civil war, and I would have to root for the South."
Below is a transcript of the segment at the top of the Thursday, March 6 Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you remember the bar scene in Star Wars with all
those wild-eyed creatures from every part of the solar system? Well
today here in Washington the whole tapestry of weirdness was reenacted
at the annual convention of something called CPAC, the Conservative
Political Action Committee [sic]. Well actually "conservative" doesn't
quite capture this out of this world jamboree. At CPAC, it's the far-out
sharing space with the even further-out, a place for the crazy car to
fill up with the usual suspects, Cruz and Paul and Rubio and Bobby
Jindal, while gassing up with the craziest bunch of ideas since Rick
"oops" Perry couldn't remember the list of government agencies he wanted
to kill, and ended up yelling, as I said, "oops."
The leader of the "let's torch this place" pack today was Ted Cruz, the Joe McCarthy imitator who belted out a plan to kill the IRS, a plan which the crowd applauded wildly, unaware of the small detail that Ted's plan would kill the very system of tax write-offs that finances happenings like this CPAC convention in the first place. It turns out, as I said, that just about every organization in that crazy room today, the Tea Party Patriot, the NRA, the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, the American Conservative Union, et cetera, et cetera, all benefit from the tax write-offs and extensions courtesy of today's IRS system, the brilliant Ted Cruz promised those blithely unknowing folks that he would simply abolish.
Well, having trashed the right-wing group's financial base, Cruz then lit up the room by trashing nearly every Republican nominee of the last quarter century. He said they lacked principle, which he made clear today means not just abolishing the IRS, but all kinds of right-wing goodies like any regulation of Wall Street and any health care program. Nothing, nothing must be done to either stand in the way of the rich or stand up for Americans who are struggling today. It was pure Koch Brothers populism being sold out there today. Words and phrases crafted to heat up the peanut gallery, translating to cold cash for the (Unintelligible) billionaires who approve the script.