Former Newsweek editor Howard Fineman appeared on Wednesday's Hardball and
warned that the Republican Party has become a "faith-based,"
"Bible-based" political organization. Fineman also derided Paul Ryan as
untrustworthy when it comes to considering science: "[Ryan] starts every consideration of public policy, not from the standpoint of science, but from the standpoint of faith."
The journalist, who is now the editorial director for the Huffington Post, darkly intoned, "But the Republican Party has become a faith-based party. Starting with Ronald Reagan, there was a marriage between the Bible Belt of the south, fundamentalist Bible Belt of the south." [MP3 audio here.]
Now, Fineman prefaced his comments by swearing, "I'm not making a value judgment when I say this." However, Fineman's previous comments throw such an assertion into doubt.
On the July 23, 2012 Hardball,
he attacked Mitt Romney, saying the Republican has "played to the kind
of nativist base of the Tea Party. And by nativist, I mean people who
are, in essence, afraid of the world."
On November 2, 2011, he bashed Republican presidential candidates, mocking, "But, they're advertising their ignorance is what I'm saying!"
Later in the segment, Wednesday, Matthews marveled of Ryan: "He is going to make Barry Goldwater look like Nelson Rockefeller by the end of this convention."
A transcript of the August 22 exchange can be found below: