Matthews continued to lead cheers for McCain, awarded him victory in Obama flap

››› ››› SAM GILL

Chris Matthews described a recent flap between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain as "the new kid on the block versus Mr. Straight Talk," a reference to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign slogan, Straight Talk America, and his Straight Talk Express campaign bus. Matthews then proceeded to describe what he called "the big fight in Washington."

During the February 12 edition of NBC's The Chris Matthews Show, host Chris Matthews described a recent flap between Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), currently in his first term, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a fourth-term senator first elected in 1986, as "the new kid on the block versus Mr. Straight Talk." The latter was a reference to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign slogan, Straight Talk America, and his Straight Talk Express campaign bus. Matthews then described what he called "the big fight in Washington":

First, John McCain calls out freshman Senator Barack Obama as a double-crosser. Obama acts innocent, saying he's puzzled by McCain's assault. Washington is stunned at the sight of a real go-at-it in broad daylight. "You talking to me?" But the next day, it's all sweetness and light.

Matthews's verdict? "Well, the fight's over, but I give it to McCain."

The dispute apparently began when Obama released a February 2 letter addressed to McCain endorsing the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, lobbying reform legislation introduced by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on January 18. In the letter, Obama said he hoped the bill could be the basis for a "bipartisan solution" to lobbying reform, explaining that he believed the Democratic plan to craft the legislation via the normal committee process would be preferable to McCain's plan for "creating a task force to further study and discuss" lobby reform. In his reply, McCain called Obama's letter "self-interested partisan posturing," claiming that Obama had been "disingenuous" in his earlier conversations with McCain.

As Media Matters for America has already noted, Matthews appeared to take McCain's side in the dustup earlier in the week when he interviewed the Arizona senator during the February 7 edition of MSNBC's Hardball. During the show, it was Matthews, not McCain, who referred to Obama as a "double-crosser," asking McCain, "Did he welsh on the deal? Did he double-cross you by going partisan after promising to go bipartisan with you, senator?" During that same segment, Matthews also praised McCain's letter as "brilliantly angry."

Since his correspondence with McCain began and ended, Obama has not appeared on either of Matthews's television programs.

From the February 12 edition of NBC's The Chris Matthews Show:

MATTHEWS: Before we go to break, however, the big fight in Washington, fortunately, this week, wasn't about East and West, it was the new kid on the block versus Mr. Straight Talk. First, John McCain calls out freshman Senator Barack Obama as a double-crosser. Obama acts innocent, saying he's puzzled by McCain's assault. Washington is stunned at the sight of a real go-at-it in broad daylight. "You talking to me?" But the next day, it's all sweetness and light. Well, the fight's over, but I give it to McCain.

Posted In
Elections
Network/Outlet
NBC
Person
Chris Matthews
Show/Publication
The Chris Matthews Show
Stories/Interests
Propaganda/Noise Machine, Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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