A clearly worried Chris Matthews on Monday fretted that a "coy" Barack Obama is being "too cute by half" in his handling of the economy. Matthews lamented the fact that in his afternoon remarks the President didn't exclaim, "Tax the freakin' rich!"
Talking to former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Matthews proclaimed what Obama should have said. After agreeing to "some" cuts, the Hardball host wished the Commander in Chief had announced to Congress: "Now, I want you to do your part and tax the freakin' rich! Now, are you going to do it or not?' He didn't go that far. I think he was being coy, cute, too clever by half..." [MP3 audio here .]
A few minutes later, Matthews dismissed Obama's proposed bus trip around America, even comparing the President to a Republican.
He lamented, "I'm wondering if he's doing what Pawlenty would do or some middle-level Republican would be doing right now. A bus trip. I don't want to downgrade. People need to meet their president. It would be good for them, but does he need to bring something along concrete?"
During the debt debate, Matthews previously smeared congressional Republicans  as "thugs," "terrorists" and "muggers."
A transcript of the exchanges on the August 8 Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: It seems like there was a couple steps missed here. When he went to the Tea Party crowd that were pushing Boehner around all day long, he could have said to them, "Okay, we have differences of opinion. Here's my opinion and here's my plan, dammit, I think we can cut $4 trillion over the next ten years. Big, national, international cuts the world would recognize. I want to have some spending cuts in here, but I also want some revenue for the rich- from the rich. Now, here's my spending cuts. I'm sticking my neck out, boys and girls. Here are the cuts. I want to go after Medicare. I want to put some means testing in here. I want co-pays in here. Changes in dates when you're eligible. I'm willing to stick my neck out. Now, I want you to do your part and tax the freakin' rich! Now, are you going to do it or not?" He didn't go that far. I think he was being coy, cute, too clever by half, Governor, by not laying out his plan. What do you think? Should he have done it or not?...
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay, let's talk about this. The President of the United States right now, I don't know what his plan is, Governor. You're a politician, you know how this works. Going on the road. He's going to Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa. He's going to other states out there, Virginia. What good, what can he do on the road? I'm wondering if he's doing what Pawlenty would do or some middle-level Republican would be doing right now. A bus trip. I don't want to downgrade. People need to meet their president. It would be good for them, but does he need to bring something along concrete?
ED RENDELL: The bus trip is a great idea if he was going to spell it out. Chris, I absolutely agree with you. He's got to be bold. This is not the time to tinker at the edges. We plead to do something to restore the world's confidence in our economy. The financial community's confidence in our economy and the American's people confidence in our economy and the American people's confidence in our economy.