Chris Matthews on Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On October 4, MSNBC host Chris Matthews professed his neutrality in the presidential race. "I'm pretty independent, in terms of the two parties," he said. "I have been just as tough on Bill Clinton and Hillary and Rudy and the whole bunch of them."

In order to ascertain whether this claim is true, Media Matters for America examined every evaluative remark Matthews made on MSNBC's Hardball during the months of September, October, and November about either Hillary Clinton or Rudy Giuliani, the two national front-runners for their respective parties' nominations during that period. We excluded instances in which Matthews was simply reporting facts (e.g. "A new poll shows Giuliani leading ... ") and restricted ourselves to cases in which Matthews offered his own opinions or judgments.[1] We also excluded instances in which there was any ambiguity about whether the statement was positive or negative.

The results demonstrate that Matthews has been particularly friendly to Rudy Giuliani in recent months, and extremely hostile toward Hillary Clinton. Not only is there a qualitative difference between the kinds of praise and criticism he offers these two candidates, but a quantitative difference, as well: Matthews made 10 negative remarks about Clinton for every negative remark he made about Giuliani, and nearly three times as many positive remarks about the former New York City mayor as about Clinton. The ratio of positive to negative remarks was 3.5-to-1 for Giuliani, but 1-to-8.2 for Clinton.

  • Matthews made 10 positive remarks about Hillary Clinton in the past three months, most of which were evaluations of her campaign performance. But six of these 10 remarks also contained some criticism, as when he said, "She has been charming but cold and absolutely flawless," or when he described a debate as "a highly scripted, brilliant performance by Hillary Clinton." Others -- for instance, his praise of Clinton's success in getting support from "every interest area in the Democratic Party" -- could also plausibly be interpreted as backhanded compliments.
  • Matthews made 82 negative remarks about Clinton during this period. They cover a wide range of topics, but most have to do with character issues -- that Clinton is overly calculating, disingenuous, or unethical.
  • Matthews made 28 positive remarks about Rudy Giuliani, most concerning how much of a leader and how tough Giuliani is.
  • Matthews made eight negative remarks about Giuliani, most about his stance on immigration.

The complete list of positive and negative remarks is available at the end of this report.[2]

The picture painted by this list is clear. Indeed, the Philadelphia Inquirer magazine reported in June 2001 that Matthews told an MSNBC colleague, "I hate her. I hate her. All that she stands for."

A sampling of negative remarks about Clinton:

"Hillary Clinton did what she always does, what her husband always does is refuse to pay a price for political office. To always defer to someone; always avoid taking a position within any interest group that might offend some interest group within the Democratic Party. It seems the whole tactic of the Clintons, never take a stand that offends anybody in the whole room full of Democratic donors and then you get elected because you don't offend anybody." (September 26)

"Sometimes, I wonder, with the Clintons, do they really have that spontaneous ability to react to events, or is it just all script? That bothers me sometimes." (October 4)

"And Hillary's so lawyered up and consultanted-up. We don't know what they really think, do we?" (October 11)

"I think a lot of people pick a president they figure would sort of like them if they knew them. And if you are overweight or have a problem with your diet -- and I certainly did for years -- you may figure Hillary doesn't like people like me. She's looking down on me. What do you think? Howie, she's looking down on me, that woman. She thinks she's better than me." (October 19)

"But did she think up this malarkey about, I'm going stick with the -- doesn't she step back for three seconds and say she grew up in Chicago. You're always loyal to the team you grew up with as a kid. She went to the Yankees so that she could run for senator from New York. It's so obvious. Well, why is she -- doesn't she know she looks like a fraud?" (October 26)

"They have to nestle and pander, if you will. It seems like Hillary Clinton has made her bed. She's going to be for the side of the illegal immigrants. That's where she is." (October 31)

"I hear the sharp notes there coming out of her mouth. Is that bad for her? You know, like in piano music, the notes seem a half a note too sharp. And is that going to hurt?" (November 16)

A sampling of positive remarks about Giuliani:

"That's what I began hearing several years ago, that Southerners look to Giuliani as a leader. And Republicans, as we all know, love leaders. Watch for Rudy to surprise the pundits and pull pretty good numbers down in Dixie." (October 18)

"Rudy is this tough, kick-butt cop from New York. You know he is not a nice guy. You know he can be a SOB. But maybe that is what you want on the subway at 3:00 in the morning. Maybe that is what people feel like in their heads right now. It is 3:00 in the morning. And we want tough guy on that subway with us, right?" (November 6)

"Rudy Giuliani, after 9/11, the galloping horse of history came by. He jumped in the saddle and made himself Winston Churchill. You either grab your opportunity when it comes, or you blow it. This guy grabbed it. That is why I think he is the number one possibility to be the next Republican nominee for president." (November 6)

"I think reading this [Newsweek] article may give me a sense of why in fact he's got this tough persona that I think is part of the reason why he stayed at the top of the polls for all these many months, about a year or so already, coming -- coming out of the background that he did. No one say he came from a -- a very pampered, silver-spoon-in-his-mouth type background, as -- as other presidents have done. That may give a sense as to why he's got the kind of demeanor and the toughness that I think made him a success as mayor and I think will make him a success on this campaign trail." (November 26)

Negative remarks about Hillary Clinton (82)

September 11

"The target of the Romney sleaze, Fred Thompson, was, of course, the senator assigned the job of probing all that honky-tonk fund-raising the -- the Clinton family did back when they held the White House, all those Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers for those who could pay the price in Clinton campaign contributions, all that Motel 6 use of the president's house. Well, here we go again. Hillary Clinton has just been caught with and has had to return $850,000 from a guy named Norman Hsu, now under investigation by the FBI."

September 13

"I mean, I have noticed her trying to do the pyramid play, the Betty and Veronica number, on this war issue for months now, saying, I want a residual military force over there. I don't want to talk to Ahmadinejad, all that kind of hawkish talk, to go along with the anti-war sentiments of her party."

September 19

"Talk about the Keating Five. Here's a meeting in Washington with a bunch of Congress people, including apparently Sheila Jackson Lee, who escaped the chance to be on the show tonight, all sitting around being introduced to a bunch of lobbyists, who are trying to sell security equipment to the federal government. It's a match making operation, a pimping operation. Hillary Clinton is the queen bee of it. Is this the future if she gets elected president?"

September 20

"And you've got this question of bundling. It's been reported in the paper today that people are being asked to kick in to campaigns and then being compensated by their bosses. They're Republicans being forced to kick in to Hillary Clinton's campaign. A lot of this sleaze is going on. It's not the new kind of post-Watergate politics we were promised."

September 20

"You're saying it forces them [the Clintons] to be corrupt? Excuse me, are we now in the business of justifying -- because their ambitions are so grand, we can't expect them to be careful in how they raise money? Excuse me, they choose to run for president. They believe they can handle the job without being corrupt. They say so. And when they are found to be corrupt, we say oh, that comes with the territory. Is that the excuse?"

September 20

"Is this corrupt, what Hillary Clinton is doing, holding fund-raisers with lobbyists, pimping them, basically, saying, if you give money to me, you lobbyists, I will sit you down to lunch with members of Congress, chairmen of committees, and they will sit around with you and you will get to be friends with each other, but give me the money first, and I will set up those deals, those lunches?"

September 26

"Hillary Clinton did what she always does, what her husband always does is refuse to pay a price for political office. To always defer to someone; always avoid taking a position within any interest group that might offend some interest group within the Democratic Party. It seems the whole tactic of the Clintons, never take a stand that offends anybody in the whole room full of Democratic donors and then you get elected because you don't offend anybody."

September 26

"But the Clintons always do this 'slip-sliding-away' thing. They beat Paul Tsongas with this back in '92, she's following the same playbook now. Don't take positions on anything that offends anyone and you can slip-slide your way into the nomination."

September 26

"What do you make of her commitment on Iraq to keep the troops in there so she can do the old Betty and Veronica play here, where I'm for pulling the troops out but I'm for keeping the troops in? It's like Archie, you know, Archie Andrews, I mean, she seems to say I'm coming home but I'm staying. You know, what is it? I feel like Jackie Mason here, she's in -- she's out. The question is do you think she has an authentic policy proposal or is your policy proposal for a federalization system over there where you share the oil revenues; you break up the land into different confessional groups. Is that the solution you believe in? Do you think she really believes you keep a certain number of troops there forever to fight Al Qaeda and you take the other ones home? I mean, does that make sense to you?"

September 26

"What about when she said, 'I know this is of special interest to you.' For whom is Social Security not a special interest? I mean that was the strangest kind of response to someone."

September 26

"I've got you figured out boy. Yeah right. I just thought that was outrageous. There's not a senior citizen in America that doesn't think that the future of Social Security is of ultimate relevance to them."

September 26

"It's how they destroyed Paul Tsongas back in '92. Let the other guy propose reforms, you talk reform but don't say anything, ever."

September 26

"Do you think that Hillary Clinton is trying to have it both ways in the war on Iraq by maintaining a combat troop presence to fight Al Qaeda, that's her phraseology, which avoids having to say I'm pulling the troops out. Is that a strategy to keep everyone happy with a policy that really does divide Americans?"

September 26

"I thought it was interesting, you couldn't get her to say raise taxes, change the benefits or change the amount of income taxed. That pretty much defines inaction, doesn't it?"

September 26

"Let me tell you how short Hillary's leash is. She was asked by you, sir, about whether we're going to get full disclosure of contributors to presidential libraries. And she did not feel that she had the latitude in her husband's absence to give you an answer. She said, you'll have to ask my husband, as if you're a guy going door to door trying to sell someone and says you'll have to wait for my husband to get home. It was unbelievable that she wouldn't answer that. Never mind, let's drop this. I just thought it was extraordinary that their deal doesn't have that much clarity to it."

September 26

"Yes. But she has always had that -- you know, you have dealt with her. You know if you have a town meeting with her, 10 minutes before the town meeting, one of the press people comes in and asks you the questions, what they're going to be. This is Hillary-land. You've go to live in that land. We all live in that land. She wants -- she doesn't want to have any risks. She wants to get the presidency without risk and that's not surprising if you're the frontrunner."

September 26

"But let me ask you about this about the issue tonight. Is Hillary Clinton vulnerable to the charge that she's been sloppy about taking money from Hsu, from dealing with this guy Follieri? Is she too loose when it comes to the people she hangs around with and lets her people hang around with? Is there a problem of corruption in the front-runner's campaign?"

September 26

"We've got the big presidential debate right now. And the question is, will sleaze stop Hillary Clinton?"

September 26

"What is it about the Clintons' world that is more connected with big money people, a lot of foreign people, a lot of people with particular interests and kind of seedy people, as opposed to Barack's campaign? Is it the fact that he gets small contributors, idealistic contributors, and they deal with the old interest people or what?"

September 26

"Let me ask you about the peculiar nature of the Clintons fund-raising operation. They are -- let's try to use the right word -- notorious for the wholesale manner in which they haul people in and shake them down for lots of money. This reached a head during the 1990s, when they were hauling people into the Lincoln Bedroom, letting people stay overnight in droves, one after another. They called it Motel 6. Senator Fred Thompson was the man who led the committee that investigated that. They couldn't prove anything to put the Clintons away. Is there something about the Clintons that's different than the usual sleazy fund-raising in politics?"

September 26

"But I do see this story building. It looks to me like the one big weakness of Hillary Clinton is not that she's a woman, not that she's not smart, not that she's not hard working, not that she's not experienced, not that she's too middle-of-the-road, but that she's too establishment. She's too much a part of the old way of doing things, and it's very hard to say she's the candidate of change."

September 26

"Jill, do you think the fact that Hillary is a woman, that she's married to Bill, and they have had the history of Motel 6 and raising money in the White House, the fact that she voted to authorize the war, adds up to a vulnerability?"

September 27

"Well, today Bill Clinton, as usual, tried to turn her dodging into a chivalry issue, something he's done so many times before. He's just looking out for his honey."

September 26

"She's still doing this, what I call, this Betty and Veronica pyramid play of saying I'll keep the hawks happy, I'll keep the doves happy, I'll keep some troops in forever to fight this Al Qaeda potential threat over there."

September 27

"Debra, what do you think looking at it from your side of things? Do you think Hillary Clinton has a notion, much less a vision, of what to do in Iraq?"

September 27

"Archie Andrews had in the comic books of Betty and Veronica. He wanted both of them. And that's what she wants, both arguments. She wants to be seen as a hawk and be seen as a dove for the purposes of this campaign."

September 28

"And here's Barack hitting Hillary Clinton for her bogus baseball fannery."

September 28

"More news today about the Clintons' strong-arming of that magazine 'Gentleman's Quarterly,' their killing of a Hillary story that they didn't like the look of. ... I don't know if the Clintons can keep getting away with this. It's kind of rough treatment, you might even say a little fascistic treatment, of the journalistic world."

October 1

"I got to tell you, I love Frank Rich, and I love him especially when he points out what seems to me to be the obvious, that Hillary Clinton is hedging, that she wants to have the hawks in the Democratic Party, the hawks in the general election, and the anti-war people in the Democratic Party all to like her, and it's starting to show, this hedging of her bets."

October 1

"And Hillary can't seem to decide, is she a hawk who wants to take on Iran, who supports the latest resolution from the neo-conservatives, is she the hawk who wants to keep troops in Iraq forever, or is she the one who wants to bring our boys home and end this war? She says both things all the time. What is she? Can you read her?"

October 1

"You said the other night, when we were talking at dinner, you said that people don't mind you taking any position except the fetal position. Is that what Hillary's doing? I don't know what it is. It's like the quarterback who falls down on the ball, rather than trying to advance it, because he knows he's winning the game. That's what she seems to be doing. Every time there's a play, she falls down on the ball so she won't, you know, fumble."

October 1

"I think the country wants to move the ball. They don't want somebody to keep control of the ball, like the Clintons do, hold the ball for the rest of their lives when what people want is it to move forward. They want to get out of Iraq. They want to avoid going into Iran. They want to have the economy better off and more secure. And here's a woman who's playing it safe and hedging her bets."

October 1

"Well, she doesn't want to lose it. But it's not -- OK, that's playing for her, it's not playing for us."

October 1

"I know, but Drew, I'm hoping it's real because I really liked the cackle when she did it to Chris and -- because I love to be rivals with everybody. But I've also heard that she cackled when she was talking to Bob Schieffer, which made no sense. I can't figure her out. Is the cackle killing her? You think it's a distraction. What is it?"

October 1

"If she keeps cackling, we'll keep talking about it. So I don't think she can win this baby! I don't know what to say."

October 1

"But the first African-American guy to really have a shot, that the voice of the future, no more Clinton versus -- Clinton and Bush rotating the job of the presidency like rotating old cans on a shelf in a supermarket, dusting off the cans because nobody is buying them."

October 2

"I still am in wonder of how Hillary Clinton can keep saying she didn't vote for the war."

October 3

"They used to say back in the old days at the Dewey campaign in '48 that he had a brilliant communications operation on his train as it whistle-stopped through the country, but it said nothing. Let me ask you about Hillary Clinton. She went on the Sunday talk shows, all five of them, made no news in five appearances. It was a tour de force, if her goal is to say nothing."

October 3

"All I know is this: I think we need a national health care system and the Democrats say they're for one. But when it comes time to create one, they don't even have the guts to finance it. If we're going to have a 200 billion dollar health care program, like Hillary and the others are talking about, you have to be willing to finance it. If all they're going to do is a number of saying, someday I'll raise the cigarette tax, that's not exactly a profile in courage, Rachel. Either you're going to pay for this stuff or stop talking about it. Hillary and Barack and Edwards are all talking about national health care. And all they can think of is some cigarette tax they know they will never pass. Why don't they put up their money where their mouth is, and say, we're for national health? And damn it, we're going to pay for it. We're going to cut something here. We're going to raise taxes here. It's going to add up. Why don't they say that?"

October 3

"But, Emily, how can she get away with leading a party by 33 points that's so totally against this war? We had the number on last night, four out of five Democrats want the Congress to be much tougher in taking on this war policy. And yet, Hillary doing that sort of interesting back and forth play she does on the war, where she's hawkish, in terms of Iran, hawkish in terms of keeping troops in Iraq. Yet says the right things most of the time about ending the war. How can she get away with that pyramid play in a party that's so overwhelmingly anti-war?"

October 4

"Sometimes, I wonder, with the Clintons, do they really have that spontaneous ability to react to events, or is it just all script? That bothers me sometimes."

October 8

"I've been saying a long time anecdotally, because I love to do these things, that anybody with a gun and a boat, Hillary hasn't got their vote. And I'm trying to be like Jesse Jackson here with little rhyming here. But that guy, that independent working guy, he's hard to get for a liberal Democrat, isn't he?"

October 11

"And Hillary's so lawyered up and consultanted-up. We don't know what they really think, do we?"

October 18

"What about when she does this sort of awkward, I think, or highly rehearsed, Us girls have to get together and circle the wagons against those men? Is that attractive to women voters or not?"

October 19

" 'The Los Angeles Times' reports today that Hillary has raised unprecedented amounts of money from poor Chinatown residents -- quote -- 'Dishwashers, waiters and others whose jobs and dilapidated home addresses seem to make them unpromising targets for political fund-raisers are pouring $1,000 and $2,000 contributions into Clinton's campaign treasury' -- quote. The report goes on to say that many of the donors, some of whom don't even vote, felt pressured to give because leaders in neighborhood associations told them to. Well, while she shovels in money in one door, she shovels out the federal money in another. Republicans in Congress have just succeeded in killing an earmark proposed by Senator Clinton and New York's Chuck Schumer. It would have provided $1 million for a Woodstock museum in Upstate New York."

October 19

"I think a lot of people pick a president they figure would sort of like them if they knew them. And if you are overweight or have a problem with your diet -- and I certainly did for years -- you may figure Hillary doesn't like people like me. She's looking down on me. What do you think? Howie, she's looking down on me, that woman. She thinks she's better than me."

October 22

"That's right, the same thing she said about her vote authorizing the war with Iraq. Hillary wants hawks in the party to think she's the most hawkish of Democrats and still make the cut with the doves. Talk about a wide stance."

October 23

"Julie, I think they're going to skunk Hillary the way they did Dukakis back in 1988. They're going to say, we want change but not this one, baby."

October 26

"But did she think up this malarkey about, I'm going stick with the -- doesn't she step back for three seconds and say she grew up in Chicago. You're always loyal to the team you grew up with as a kid. She went to the Yankees so that she could run for senator from New York. It's so obvious. Well, why is she -- doesn't she know she looks like a fraud?"

October 26

"What's with her clapping? Why is she always clapping? There we see her -- I don't know any -- is this a Chinese thing? What is this clapping? She doesn't clap like you do at a movie you like or something. She claps when she meets people. She claps -- is that Tom Friedman? I mean, she claps when she stands at a luncheon. What is all the clapping about?"

October 26

"Does she exploit it and get power by knowing that he's always feeling guilty with her? In other words, did she get power -- I heard this from David Gergen. She got power over health care financing, the biggest issue of that administration ... because he was so hooked up in the problem of Paula Jones that she just squeezed it out of -- OK, give me the health care thing, and I'll be quiet."

October 26

"Is that the kind of exploitation, or what do you call it -- what do you call it, blackmail? What do you call it?"

October 26

"And she exploited it to get more power."

October 26

"It was a fund-raiser, of course. Like so much of the Clintons' life, they use it for fund-raising purposes or political purposes."

October 26

"I find them both amazingly likable people when I'm with them, especially Hillary. I do find a fraudulence, a public fraudulence, in all this Yankee/Red Sox stuff. It's so hokey, so baloney, so B.S. It makes me wonder about how much more B.S. there is. When you can actually pretend it's an issue that somebody roots for the Sox, when your team loses the division, I mean, who cares?"

October 26

"It was the worst of both worlds, Sally. It was the fingers on the blackboard and a stupid topic."

October 26

"How do we discern how they work together in the White House, because there's this problem you're pointing to of trying to get the record out. Explain the problem of getting the record out about how Bill and Hillary operated for eight years in the White House."

October 26

"When you want to find out about something, they [the Clintons] say, oh, that's politics. You can't look at it. If it's something to do with policy, they say that's policy. By the way, who's in charge?"

October 29

"Here's what I think Obama should say starting tomorrow night at the big MSNBC debate in my hometown of Philly. Quote, 'This country's in a rut, a rut that leads to endless war in Iraq, that leads to inevitable war with Iran. The American people, and not just the Democrats, want to get our country out of this rut. The great majority of them want this election to take us to a new place, not just led by someone smarter along the same rut. I promise to take us to that new place. Senator Clinton is smart. She's hardworking. She's serious. But every vote she has cast, every word she has spoken says yes to the status quo. She voted to approve the war with Iraq. She just voted with the hawks to target Iran. She always seems to choose the safe boat that leaves this country in the same rut, the rut of fearful politics and endless war. I promise change. I promise a new approach. I promise deliverance from the rut of endless war in Iraq, inevitable war in Iran. So there you have it. It's for you, my fellow Democrats, to decide. If you think Bush's policies would have been succeed if they were better executed, then go with Senator Clinton. If you think the Bush policies were wrong, dead wrong, I'm with you.' "

October 29

"I mean, I made the point early in the show, as I started the show, I think he has to say that Hillary Clinton keeps us in the rut we're in right now. She offers no change, more war with Iraq, inevitable war with Iran. You need a whole new approach to the foreign policy of this country, and she's not offering it."

October 29

"But Hillary is basically column A. She's a smarter Bush."

October 29

"By the way, that might be the smartest politics, because having just been at Fenway Park and heard some of the rumbling behind me about Hillary; 'Is she really going to be the nominee? Tell me she's not going to be the nominee. Tell me I don't have her as president.' That was what I was hearing behind me."

October 29

"She's very much the establishment candidate. She's doing the establishment thing, taking money from the interest groups, whatever they are, saying she really doesn't pay much attention where the money comes from. That's Bill Clinton politics. That's what they did in the White House. Is it going to work?"

October 30

"Dan, it seems to me that she has managed to keep the voice tenor down. There has been none of that fingernail on the blackboard kind of hectoring sound."

October 31

"Roger, it seems to me that she uses this phrase, 'undocumented workers,' rather than illegal immigrants. It's obviously pandering. It doesn't tell you anything. 'Undocumented worker' can mean anything. She doesn't use the actual language of reality. These people are in the country illegally. And then she seeks to solve the problem by giving them documents, as that -- as if that's their only problem. They're in the country illegally. She wants to give them driver's licenses. By the way, she finally went full circle again today and said, Yes, give them driver's licenses."

October 31

"You know, last night, Anne, I thought Hillary Clinton was playing a pretty good game of eightball in pool, and then she scratched at the end. She was the one that put the cueball in the hole, in the pocket. She committed the self-inflicted wound of coming out for driver's licenses, documentation for people in this country illegally. I don't know how she wins on this. "

October 31

"I think she's ready to switch again, Pat. We'll be right back. I swear she switches on this like a top in the next couple of months."

October 31

"The hottest issue in the Democratic Party is the war. The hottest issue in the Republican Party is illegal immigration. And now Hillary has sided with illegal immigration."

October 31

"What is this, Pat? Dodgeball? That's not a position for the first lady?"

October 31

"I mean, her husband is the guy she is using as her number-one trolley to the White House here, and she can't give him a call and say, hey, dear, why don't you release those documents, so I can brag about my record at the White House?"

October 31

"Do you think she is hiding something? Do you think she's hiding something, that she did something during the administration of her husband that is embarrassing to her, and that's why she doesn't want the papers out?"

October 31

"They have to nestle and pander, if you will. It seems like Hillary Clinton has made her bed. She's going to be for the side of the illegal immigrants. That's where she is."

November 1

"First she mocks the debate, now she's playing the woman card. Will either move pay off for Hillary Clinton after her flip-flop on this issue we're talking about, driver's licenses for people in the country illegally?"

November 1

"I was just triggered into thinking about the number of times Hillary Clinton has yielded herself to this gender card; I'm your girl out in Chicago. What gives me experience in dealing with evil men, and now this one, rallying the troops up at Wellesley. Is she going to do a seven sisters tour now, a college tour now with Hillary to rally the women against the men?"

November 1

"Is this pandering or playing to the Seven Sisters crowd up at these all-women's colleges, where there may be that sort of mood if you're -- and they all want dates. I assume a lot of them do, on weekends. But this anti-male thing, is that something that's particularly something you can sort of spruce up, you can play up, up there?"

November 2

"Is Hillary out of line for painting herself as a victimized woman every time her male rivals criticize her? And do we want a president who plays the gender card every time her opponents attack her?"

November 6

"Hillary Clinton's team, led by very smart people, the best and the brightest in the business, people like Mark Penn and Mandy Grunwald, they're putting out the word -- first of all, they put out the word to Drudge that night that somehow Tim Russert was too tough. Then they put out the word the next day at a fund raising meeting, in a conference call, that the other rivals were too tough. Then she dropped the Wellesley -- maybe she did it rightly or wrongly, but she did do the gender card thing. And now they're putting out the fact, Bill, that they're Swift Boating this poor woman. You know, just a month ago, she's I'm your girl. In Chicago, she was tough. I can take on all these bad guys. Now, what's big brother coming to defend her for? What's all this excuse-making?"

November 6

"No, I think it's [clapping] bizarre behavior. Anyway, I think it has something to do with -- men don't know what to do with their hands. I guess she's like us. Anyway, we'll be right back with more of the round table. I want an answer, why is she clapping. Matt, please. Tell me. Why does she clap all the time?"

November 9

"Hillary Clinton has this number I just looked at the other day, we all saw it. Fifty five percent of married men in the country say they'll never vote for her under any circumstances. Doesn't she walk into the White House really a pariah amongst so many people?"

November 13

"Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? First the Clinton people blamed the moderator in that Philadelphia debate for Hillary's bad night. Then they confessed to feeding questions in televised town meetings. Now they're trying to intimidate the next debate moderator. Is everyone fair game except the candidate?"

November 13

"This shows that she's a manipulative candidate."

November 16

"I hear the sharp notes there coming out of her mouth. Is that bad for her? You know, like in piano music, the notes seem a half a note too sharp. And is that going to hurt?"

Positive remarks about Hillary Clinton (10)

October 1*

"Hey, Mike, Drew, I'm warming up towards her, despite how hard I get on this show, because it's my job to play hardball and be tough on all these guys. But I do think she's so much more appealing as a political figure, after all these years of putting up with Bill."

October 4*

"Well, Hillary -- and this will sound negative towards Hillary, but, you know, I have come to like her a lot more over the years. I just respect how far she's come. I think putting up with Bill has been her rite of passage, putting up with that marriage, and coming out pretty whole, at least the way we look at it. And I think that's a fair estimate. It's not the nicest estimate. But she's a tough cookie. And I think he made her tougher, not necessarily by being nice. But she's a tougher woman than she was 20, 30 years ago, I'm sure."

October 5

"She's much cuter. Cut her some slack, will you? You are brutal."

October 8

"Let's come back and talk about Hillary, who's just leaped to the front of Iowa. She could run the table if she keeps it up. It will confound some people. She's definitely running an impressive campaign."

October 25*

"The establishment, the interest groups, the older women, the working women, the minorities, minorities -- I don't know if gays -- if they're significant, but they're probably for Hillary too. It's unbelievable."

October 29*

"But how do you bring about that choice with Hillary? Hillary is out there with these incredible numbers. Women seem to be voting for her in large numbers. Minorities are voting for her, poor people, working people and old people. She seems to have corralled every interest area of the Democratic Party right now."

October 30*

"The calm, cool presence of a Grace Kelly, if you will. It is almost -- that is the way that Hillary has been. She has been charming but cold and absolutely flawless, I agree."

November 8

"As her friends and foes must have noticed, I get a kick out of going after Hillary's fondness for public clapping. She does it everywhere. Every time she gets in front of a crowd of supporters, she keeps clapping and clapping and clapping. Well, I was up at my old high school the other night, La Salle in Philly, last night. And I talked to Agnes Hallis (ph), who is married to John Hallis (ph), who used to play French horn with me in the school band. She gave me four -- make that a full quartet of reasons why Hillary likes to clap. I love these reasons. Number one, it's a polite way to show she appreciates the applause from the people around her. She's responding. Number two, it's a way to jazz up the energy in the room, sort of like being a cheerleader of the crowd. She's sort of cheering them up, getting them going. Three -- I love these last two -- it's like Peter Pan. If you clap, Tinker Bell will get better. Four, that's that old kid's song. If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. Anyway, so, don't let my Scrooge attitude about clapping make you think anything less of this or take away any reasons why a person running for commander in chief shouldn't enjoy this campaign any way she chooses."

November 16*

"You know what I saw, David, there? A highly scripted, brilliant performance by Hillary Clinton that hit all three bells."

November 30

"Well done. You know, that's what people like to see in politicians. It seems to me, regardless of political parties or attitudes about the person, to get out there on the curb, as she is right there in front of her house answering questions, right away, speaking to the public in a transparent fashion, no hiding in the back. People love it. I hope we see more of that from politicians in the future. It's good stuff. I also like the fact she thanked her volunteers and those of every other campaign, young people in their 20s who run American politics because they have the time to go out there and volunteer. I hope they still do."

* These remarks were positive overall but also contained some negative element.

Positive remarks about Rudy Giuliani (28)

September 4

"Word is that he [John McCain] might be inclined to throw his backing to Rudy Giuliani. The beauty of that is, it would whack Romney, smash his erstwhile buddy, Thompson, who wasn't supposed to run as long as John McCain was in the race, and give a real lift to a fellow maverick. Lots of grit in those two, Rudy and McCain."

September 12

"Were you impressed that 92 percent of the people, almost everybody, thinks he was totally within his rights to celebrate 9/11, and be a main celebrant of it, that he owns that horror? He was there."

September 14

"There's another piece to it [Giuliani's popularity] that you haven't mentioned. I think they like -- people on the conservative side tend to like strong leaders."

October 3

"Rudy's opportunity to pick up on the Bush vote is clearly in the east, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, maybe Ohio. Pick up some opportunity there. They already have Ohio. Pick up some eastern, more ethnic cities, where people like gritty people like Rudy."

October 8

"Rudy's got a gritty image."

October 8

"OK. Let's put a picture up here, a gritty, big-city guy, with a long ethnic name from New York, tough on crime, great during 9/11, Giuliani, right?"

October 9

"That is so smart [that Giuliani listens to his opponents and responds to them]."

October 10

"Well, I think Rudy is right [that he is the most electable -- the "50-state" candidate]."

October 11

"You're with me on that one [that Giuliani will be very tough]. That's what I think."

October 11

"Everything you say is true about Rudy Giuliani. I have been saying that for two years. Whatever your position, liberal, middle, or left, or right, Giuliani has beat the spread week after week after week. And, if you just watch this business, the Republican Party seems to want strength more than anything else. And, for whatever reason, good, bad or fictitious, or whatever, he exudes it."

October 18

"That's what I began hearing several years ago, that Southerners look to Giuliani as a leader. And Republicans, as we all know, love leaders. Watch for Rudy to surprise the pundits and pull pretty good numbers down in Dixie."

October 19

"I'll tell you, Rudy Giuliani wants to bring Ron Paul into every debate for the rest of his life, because he does this alley-oop play. Every time Ron Paul gives the Libertarian, anti-neo-conservative argument, Rudy says what about 9/11 and gets the home run again."

October 22

"He's [Rudy Giuliani] not competing to be the most conservative, he's competing to be the leader."

October 22

"I have a sense that the coasts are going to be owned by Rudy Giuliani just because of the unit rule and the way he can roll it up in Florida and New Jersey and California."

October 23

"OK, I still bet on Giuliani to be the toughest competitor of Hillary."

October 24

"Well, it [Giuliani's claim to be supporting the Red Sox in the World Series] sounds reasonable to me. Is he supposed to be voting for the team from the other league?"

October 30

"Rudy Giuliani enjoys that same kind of popularity in the suburbs, because people want to go back to the old neighborhood. They want to be able to walk around it without getting hurt. They love it. They love their cities. That's why Rudy is popular."

November 6

"Tonight the person with the best shot to win the Republican nomination, I say it's Rudy Giuliani. Once again it is based on national and key state polling, international betting odds and perhaps the most important point, his best and most distinguishing strengths."

November 6

"What is his power punch? The way I see it, Republicans like leaders, as I said, he can win big in big states. And the Christian right now sees anti-terrorism, for which he is famous, as a moral virtue. What could stop him? His positions on social issues like abortion rights and gay rights. Early losses, really bad ones, could kill his big state bid before it even gets started. And finally, some Gotham blowback from firefighters, widows, police, anyone who tries to poke holes in his 9/11 legacy, that could be a problem."

November 6

"You know why I have been saying this guy looks good for a long time, he looks like a potential winner? Because I have been talking to a lot of people in the South, guys that go to lunches in the South, not necessarily church-y people, just secular Republicans, they hear about lower taxes, law and order, they like him. They can't spell his name down there, some people, but they love the idea he is a tough, kick-butt policeman, basically, in New York, a prosecutor, a guy who puts bad guys like Milken away."

November 6

"Rudy is this tough, kick-butt cop from New York. You know he is not a nice guy. You know he can be a SOB. But maybe that is what you want on the subway at 3:00 in the morning. Maybe that is what people feel like in their heads right now. It is 3:00 in the morning. And we want tough guy on that subway with us, right?"

November 6

"Rudy Giuliani, after 9/11, the galloping horse of history came by. He jumped in the saddle and made himself Winston Churchill. You either grab your opportunity when it comes, or you blow it. This guy grabbed it. That is why I think he is the number one possibility to be the next Republican nominee for president."

November 6

"Well, he's [Giuliani] the leader in that party. He looks more like a leader than the rest of them. "

November 20

"Well, that's Rudy at his best [making fun of Barack Obama's admission of past drug use]."

November 26

"So the people looking for a tough guy leader are going to Rudy. They know who they like, in a time of crime fear and terrorism fear, that makes sense."

November 26

"I think reading this [Newsweek] article may give me a sense of why in fact he's got this tough persona that I think is part of the reason why he stayed at the top of the polls for all these many months, about a year or so already, coming -- coming out of the background that he did. No one say he came from a -- a very pampered, silver-spoon-in-his-mouth type background, as -- as other presidents have done. That may give a sense as to why he's got the kind of demeanor and the toughness that I think made him a success as mayor and I think will make him a success on this campaign trail."

November 26

"The Italian-Americans [references a Giuliani profile in Newsweek] are the people that rub the graffiti off the walls when somebody puts it on the wall. They're the ones that won't move out of the neighborhood when it changes. They're the ones that really do fight for the city. They try to keep it straight and narrow. They are straight-and-narrow people. It seems to me it's a plus."

November 28

"I have to tell you, when I watched it [a debate], I thought every -- those two guys were operating at a different level than the rest of the guys, the rest of the candidates, that those two guys, Rudy and Romney, were so far ahead, they were like -- they were like the top-ranked football teams."

Negative remarks about Rudy Giuliani (8)

September 13

"Rudy Giuliani gets whacked on immigration, and maybe deserves it."

September 13

"Republican candidates for president are still pouncing on Rudy Giuliani for remarks he made on talk radio about illegal immigration. He said that being in the United States illegally should not be a federal crime -- quote -- 'because the government wouldn't be able to prosecute it. We couldn't prosecute 12 million people' -- close quote. Well, his position puts him clearly at odds with top supporters like Peter King of New York, who want the law enforced. Well, excuse me, but how can a law and order conservative like Giuliani think it's OK for the first thing a person does on entering this country to break the law? In the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, by the way, Giuliani has seen his lead over Fred Thompson shrink from 13 points down just to six points. It will keep shrinking if he keeps sounding soft on illegal immigration."

September 13

"Rudy Giuliani sounds soft on illegal immigration. What's he up to?"

September 24

"Call me old-fashioned, but, when you invite people to go to the trouble to come to an event and listen to what you have to say, you give your first attention to them. You don't operate a switchboard of anyone who feels like interrupting you [referring to Giuliani's answering of a cell phone call during a campaign speech]. If this thing happens again, and people aren't openly offended by it, that's their fault. Cute once, maybe, not cute twice, not cool, if it happens again."

October 1

"Rudy Giuliani explains why he keeps interrupting speeches to take his wife's telephone calls. And wouldn't you know it, it has to do with 9/11."

November 6

"Big problem, small problem, his [Rudy Giuliani] inability to answer that quickly? He was mocking Hillary for having a problem with a question. Brian asked him a fairly obvious question, he took the longest time to say how long he hasn't talked to the guy [Kerik]."

November 26

"Which of these two top Republicans [Romney and Giuliani] is least likely to give you an extension [on a loan]? I don't see a whole lot of heart from either of these guys."

November 29

"You know what I liked about last night, gentlemen, was that there was one issue that neither of these heavyweights, Rudy Giuliani or -- or Governor Mitt Romney, had prepared themselves for in this campaign. They had adjusted their positions on abortion, on gun control, on a whole array of issues to make themselves acceptable to the arch-conservatives, but they hadn't adjusted their records on immigration, illegal immigration. They were both caught flat-footed last night. And you saw that great battle between them, knowing each other was vulnerable. They were both vulnerable on the issue, because neither one has been a red-hot on this issue."



[1] We did not count the plentiful instances in which Matthews criticized Bill Clinton unless he also explicitly criticized Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that criticism of the former is obviously no help to the latter.

[2] We considered each remark to begin when Matthews began speaking and to end when a guest began speaking. Consequently, there were a few occasions on which Matthews made multiple negative or positive remarks regarding the same topic during a single conversation.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Gender, Elections
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