Radio Host Nails Chris Matthews: 'You're Clearly Working for the Re-Election of Barack Obama'
MSNBC's Chris Matthews ran into trouble on Thursday when a local Iowa radio host mocked the TV personality: "I just want to make sure we're starting with some honesty. You're clearly working for the re-election of Barack Obama." WHO-AM's Simon Conway appeared on the December 15 Hardball and promptly started sparring with the liberal anchor. [MP3 audio here.]
After Matthews' bland introduction, Conway struck: "Well, first of all, it's always a pleasure to welcome a Democrat to the Simon Conway Show, Chris." (The interview was simulcast on Conway's program.) A rattled Matthews responded, "This isn't going to go very long here if you're going into this game of assigning" political labels.
He then proceeded to interrogate the radio host, a new American citizen from Britain. Conway reiterated, "I just want to be clear that we're going to be honest. You're clearly working for the re-election of Barack Obama and I'm okay with that. I just want some honesty here."
After Matthews wondered what Conway believed in, the influential radio host retorted, "I'm working for the election of a conservative."
A transcript of the December 15 exchange, which aired 5:18pm EST, follows:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, Simon Conway is an Iowa radio talk show host who has spoken to each of the Republican presidential candidates, except Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, who's not competing in Iowa. Simon, thank you so much for coming on and doing this simulcast. I see you at the mic there. What's it smell like to you out there? What's the sense? Just, if I'd ask you to do a little peroration now on which way it's going, what's it feels like? What is it?
SIMON CONWAY (Iowa talk radio host): Well, first of all, it's always a pleasure to welcome a Democrat to the Simon Conway Show, Chris. So, you're very welcome.
MATTHEWS: Well, what is that? Are we all giving our party labels out here? Are you giving me yours or what? Or you don't want to give one? No, you want to give me one but don't give yourself one. That's fair enough.
CONWAY: No- Chris, I'm not a Republican, never have been and never will be. I'm keeping my independence.
MATTHEWS: So you give out labels, but you don't assign one to yourself. That's very clever.
CONWAY: Well, there isn't one. There isn't one. I just want to make sure we're starting with some honesty. You're clearly working for the re-election of Barack Obama.
MATTHEWS: No, I want to make sure-
CONWAY: -and that's okay.
MATTHEWS: This isn't going to go very long here if you're going into this game of assigning- What is your political voting record, then? How'd you go last time?
CONWAY: I've only voted once, I'm a fairly new citizen to the United States, and I voted for John McCain while holding my nose.
MATTHEWS: You voted Republican.
CONWAY: I voted Republican.
MATTHEWS: So, that is how we should identify you, sir, based upon your record.
CONWAY: If you wish to do that, but, look, the bottom line-
MATTHEWS: No, no. You're doing it to me. So, why don't we do it to you and have some fun?
CONWAY: Fine! If you want to do that, Chris, you can go ahead and do it. It's untrue, but you can go ahead and do it. But, that's okay. I just want to be clear that we're going to be honest. You're clearly working for the re-election of Barack Obama and I'm okay with that. I just want some honesty here.
MATTHEWS: Well, what are you working for, sir?
CONWAY: I'm working for the election of a conservative.
MATTHEWS: And who would that be?
CONWAY: Well, we don't have an individual yet. We've still got an open field, and it's very interesting, and certainly Iowa is not, is not done yet. I think we've got plenty of time, I think we can still see this race change.