Chris Matthews Blames Republicans for Banking Crisis
Like a steamroller, MSNBC host Chris Matthews ran over Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., in an interview about Sen. John McCain, the GOP and the nationâs economic problems.
The âHardballâ host assaulted Cantor with questions about Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCainâs assertion that the fundamentals of the United States economy are sound. Cantor could barely get a word in edgewise for much of the September 17 debate.
âLet me ask you what he [McCain] means by the fundamentals,â Matthews said. âNot this nonsense about the workers being a good guy â we know all that. What does he mean when he says the economy â the economy is fundamentally strong? What does he mean by that about when weâve lost maybe a trillion dollars in wealth in the last couple of days? What does he mean by the economy is fundamentally strong? What does that mean? Congressman Cantor â what does he mean?â
Cantor told Matthews that he couldnât âtell you what he meant.â
Matthews fired at Cantor and the Republicans, blaming the âparty thatâs in powerâ for the current economic situation. He also accused Cantor of trying to âchange the rules.â
âThe way we keep score in American politics is the party thatâs in power for eight years and runs the White House and three-quarters of the time ran the Congress and the White House takes the heat when things go bad,â Matthews said. âCongressman Cantor, youâre trying to change the rules now and saying if we take off our uniforms and donât say weâre Republicans this week, the people will be fooled. I never heard of that happening in politics. Youâre taking off your uniforms; youâre saying youâre not Republicans.â
Matthews yelled over many of Cantorâs attempted responses and argued that Bush was shirking his responsibilities, as if the president could correct the entire global economy.
âWe are in a national crisis right now. Iâm looking at the market every day and itâs scary and we have a president of the
Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Calif., appeared on the show with Cantor to give the Democratic point of view, but Matthews commandeered the segment and did it for Wexler. He attacked the entire GOP and targeted anyone with an âRâ next to their name.
â[Y]ou havenât used the word âRepublicanâ tonight. Your party didnât use it in the acceptance speech. John McCain never said the word âRepublican.â He never said the word âBush.â Youâre trying to take off your uniforms and run from the field of political battle and claim you are not Republicans,â Matthews said.
âYouâre claiming youâre running against this administration and Iâm not going to let anyone get away with that kind of foolery. You have to take responsibility, sir, for the policies of this administration that has gotten us into this mess. You canât walk away and say, âOh, we had nothing to do with this.â Can you? Say it if you want to. Itâs your right. Say you had nothing to do with this situation.â
Later in the show, Matthews called Bushâs handling of the current market crisis his âKatrinaâ moment.
âI predict we talk more about the economy the next week, in tow,â Matthews said. This thing is so horrible. We have lost the American people, whatever your piece of this, over a trillion dollars in wealth in three days. This is ghastly, what's going on. I don't know where the president is but heâs not out there building confidence. He is in the White House somewhere. It is a Katrina moment, I think.â
Blasting Republicans was not unusual for the MSNBC host. Matthews, along with MSNBC âCountdownâ host Keith Olbermann, was removed from the anchor chair for the networkâs coverage of live political events after complaints of bias during the Republican and Democratic conventions.
Nearly a year ago, Matthews and CNBCâs Maria Bartiromo co-hosted a GOP presidential debate that was intended to be solely about the economy. However, Matthews asked the candidates 49 questions and of them, 28 were not about the economy.