Chris Matthews left no doubt for Massachusetts voters what was at
stake with their vote in today's Senate election as the MSNBC host, on
Tuesday's Hardball, underlined, in graphic terms, that a vote for
Republican Scott Brown was a vote to kill health care. Matthews, on the
5pm edition of his show, blared: "If they go for Republican Scott Brown
it's deliberate, premeditated murder for health care!"
The following depictions of health care's imminent demise at the hands of Brown were aired on the January 19 edition of Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Leading off tonight, for Obama health care it's final jeopardy. We're just two hours away, right now, from the polls closing in Massachusetts where voters are deciding the fate of the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat and also whether President Obama has the necessary 60 Senate votes to pass national health care.
It's that rare election where voters know exactly what they're voting on. If they're with Democrat Martha Coakley they get health care reform. If they go for Republican Scott Brown it's deliberate, premeditated murder for health care!
MATTHEWS: But this good looking guy here is not running on charm or good looks or what, what do you call, charisma. He's saying, "I'm gonna kill health care! I'm gonna be the 41st Senator to stop it, in its tracks and kill it dead!" This is a clear cut voter choice on health care.
MATTHEWS: These people been told one simple thing by this Republican. "I'm keeping it simple. Vote for me, I vote no. I kill this thing in its bed."
MATTHEWS ASKING WHAT HEADLINE WILL BE IF BROWN WINS: Will it be "Health Care in Dire Straits, On Life Support?"
JEFF ZELENY, NEW YORK TIMES: Well it certainly is. So whatever the headline writers decide back in New York I'm not sure, but it is in dire straits.
MATTHEWS: Okay thank you very much Karen Tumulty my friend. Thank you Jeff. Great reporting. They'll be reporting nationally, coming out of here on what will turn out to be, by midnight tonight, perhaps a huge national story. Not as painful as Haiti, but to politicians on the Democratic side it will get to their gut. They lost in Massachusetts. If that's the headline tonight, that's a big one. It's a death knell, perhaps, perhaps, coming for health care.
-Geoffrey Dickens is the senior news analyst at the Media Research Center.