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Chris Matthews Speculates Herman Cain Sexually Harassed Women While Drunk

Appearing on Wednesday's NBC Today, MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews urged Herman Cain to admit to sexually harassing women and even predicted what the Republican front-runner might say: "I think even if it's really bad he has to put the context to it. He has to say, 'It was an extraordinary night, I had too many drinks, I normally don't act like that, this is not me.'" [Audio available here]

The segment began with co-host Matt Lauer going after Cain for suggesting racial motivations behind the dredged up accusations: "He believes race is playing a role in this but he has no proof to support that. Is that a dangerous statement on his point?" Matthews replied: "I think he's struggling to come up with some rationale why he's not talking....At some point we're going to find out, maybe by the end of the week, what he actually did that caused all of this trouble. He clearly did something wrong."



Lauer noted that voters support Cain because they think he's a "straight shooter" and noted: "...in the last several days it appears he's playing a game of semantics. Is this going to hurt him?" Matthews argued: "Yes, it's built the story, it's built it to a crescendo. When it finally comes out what actually happened, it's going to be a much bigger crash to him....he's the David against Goliath. If this story turns out that he's Goliath, that he abused his authority as head of an association, it's going to hurt him badly."

Here is a transcript of the November 2 exchange:

7:05AM ET

MATT LAUER: Chris Matthews is host of MSNBC's Hardball and he's also the author of the new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero." Chris, good to see you, good morning.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Matt, thanks.

LAUER: Herman Cain says he believes race is playing a role in this but he has no proof to support that. Is that a dangerous statement on his point?

MATTHEWS: Well, I think he's struggling to come up with some rationale why he's not talking. I still think, Matt, that this has two aspects to it, the hunt for him, the hunt for the information, which is almost a Perry Mason case, and what actually happened. At some point we're going to find out, maybe by the end of the week, what he actually did that caused all of this trouble. He clearly did something wrong.

LAUER: In one of the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls that Herman Cain did pretty well in, we asked voters what it was about him that they like, and a lot of them said that he is a straight shooter.

MATTHEWS: Right.

LAUER: And now in the last several days it appears he's playing a game of semantics. Is this going to hurt him?

MATTHEWS: Yes, it's built the story, it's built it to a crescendo. When it finally comes out what actually happened, it's going to be a much bigger crash to him. But there's – you the question is – he's kind of a David and Goliath, he's the David against Goliath. If this story turns out that he's Goliath, that he abused his authority as head of an association, it's going to hurt him badly.

LAUER: He says fundraising has not been damaged by this, raised a half a million dollars on Monday alone. Do you think he needs to get out there and sit down with someone and do one full scale interview, lay it all on the line, whether the truth is pretty or not, before one of these accusers gets out there and speaks?

MATTHEWS: Right, I think even if it's really bad he has to put the context to it. He has to say, 'It was an extraordinary night, I had too many drinks, I normally don't act like that, this is not me.' But he has to say it, you're right, that way.

(...)


- Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow Kyle Drennen on Twitter.