Chris Matthews is convinced the conservative opposition to Barack Obama isn’t about opposition to big government spending but race. Appearing on MSNBC, right after the President delivered his speech on the shutdown deal, the Hardball host demanded to know why a “small part” of the GOP thinks they can beat Obama as he questioned: “Why does a group of people that always loses elections or tends to do lately, why do they call themselves American people because -- do they still count blacks as three-fifths? Three-fifths of a vote?”
The following is the relevant Matthews rant as it was aired on the October 17 edition of Now with Alex Wagner:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I think what he [Barack Obama] did today, what I really liked about the speech was he put the fact there, of the cost of this thing. It wasn’t street theater, it wasn’t without cost, it wasn’t just showing off, it was really hurting the country. And then he said we really have to change the way we do business. It’s not about values. It’s not about philosophy or partisanship, they are all good in how we run our country. It’s tactics and respect.
And what the right, that small part of the Republican Party, maybe a third of it, was willing to do, was to show no respect for who’s president, for the voter who elected him and they have this weird “we” they refer to. We, the American people. Why does a group of people that always loses elections or tends to do lately, why do they call themselves American people because -- do they still count blacks as three-fifths? Three-fifths of a vote? Is that the way they count it? Is that the way the count it? Because seriously, why do you say “we the American people” when the President keeps getting re-elected and you keep saying, “Oh we don’t like him, we don’t like him.” How does that work? Why do they vote for him? So there is this “we” I’m very worried about. Like “We’re more American than the rest so we should get a higher weighting to who we are.” I don’t like, I think it’s dangerous. And it goes with the birther stuff and all the rest of it.
— Geoffrey Dickens is Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center. Follow Geoffrey Dickens on Twitter.