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Chris Matthews Charges GOP Is Becoming 'the Party of Jefferson Davis,' Abe Lincoln a 'RINO'

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ranted on Thursday that the GOP, the “party of Lincoln,” is becoming “the party of Jefferson Davis.”

How is the GOP becoming like the old Confederacy? For Matthews, the party is passing voting laws, and thus “grabbing every chance it can to keep minorities from the voting booth.” He lamented that Lincoln would be a RINO in today’s GOP.

"Wasn't it Abraham Lincoln who would run the risk of being called a Republican-In-Name-Only today, who won the Civil War so people, especially African-Americans, could be regular voting citizens? Or is this all in the past?” Matthews asked. 

Below is a transcript of the segment, which aired on February 13 on Hardball at 7:59 p.m. EST:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with this. Someone should ask Reince Priebus, him being the leader of the Republican party in this country, why his party is so compelled to deny people the right to vote. Wasn't it Abraham Lincoln who would run the risk of being called a Republican-In-Name-Only today, who won the Civil War so people, especially African-Americans, could be regular voting citizens? Or is this all in the past? Is this the Republican party of the 21st century that's so different from its founders that it can openly spend its time passing laws in the state capitols of this country -- 19 measures since New Year's --  grabbing every chance it can to keep minorities from the voting booth? Mr. Priebus likes to toss off the charge that he's responsible for this, but doesn't the Republican National Committee have duties to go beyond raising money and showing up on the Sunday talk shows? Doesn't it have a responsibility – a moral responsibility to tell parties across the country the party of Lincoln shouldn't become the party of Jefferson Davis? Or is that where we're headed? You tell us, Mr. Priebus. 

— Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matt Hadro on Twitter.