Matthews: Sure Bush lied about Katrina, but John Kerry is a flip-flopper!

Video ››› ››› ROB MORLINO

Discussing the contradiction between the newly released videotape of President Bush at a FEMA briefing on Hurricane Katrina and Bush's statement during a September 1, 2005, appearance on Good Morning America that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," Chris Matthews invoked alleged flip-flops by Sen. John Kerry. Matthews asked campaign consultant Bob Shrum, "Do you think [Bush] was aware of the Katrina situation before he was unaware of it," then stated, "I'm reminding everybody of your candidate and how his positions changed."

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In a March 1 discussion about the apparent contradiction between President Bush's September 1, 2005, statement to host Diane Sawyer on ABC's Good Morning America , that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees," and a newly released videotape showing a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) briefing on Hurricane Katrina that Bush attended via teleconference four days prior -- during which experts warned of exactly that scenario in New Orleans -- MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews asked Democratic strategist Bob Shrum, "Do you think [Bush] was aware of the Katrina situation before he was unaware of it?" When Shrum answered the question rather than taking the discussion in the new direction Matthews was suggesting, Matthews prompted: "I'm reminding everybody of your candidate and how his positions changed," referring to Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA), the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee. Shrum served as Kerry's' chief campaign consultant during the race.

Shrum responded to Matthews: "John Kerry never said something, I believe, that he didn't think was true. He didn't get up and say, for example, no one anticipated the breach of the levees when we now on tape have Bush being told that the levees could very well be breached." After National Review Washington editor Kate O'Beirne said, "We all knew [the levees] could be breached," Matthews continued, "Wait a minute, Bob! Didn't he say, John Kerry, that he would have voted for the war to authorize the war, even after he was told there were no WMD [weapons of mass destruction]?"

From the March 1 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: Bob Shrum, this is amazing, because it gets back to the point where you both admitted in a nonpartisan fashion that there's a disconnect when the president is not on top of things. Usually you hear thing from the president. Here he hears things from television. And he doesn't watch television.

SHRUM: Look, Chris, speaking of conservatives, Bush is showing that people who hate the government can't run the government. The water is now pouring over the levee of the Bush presidency. He did mislead us when he made his comments after Hurricane Katrina. And I think Kate can make all the arguments you want, but you look at that videotape and you know what the president is being told. And you know what he says later is not consistent with that.

MATTHEWS: Do you think he was aware of the Katrina situation before he was unaware of it?

SHRUM: He was clearly aware of it.

MATTHEWS: I'm reminding everybody of your candidate and how his positions changed.

SHRUM: Well, yeah, but let me tell you something, John Kerry never said something, I believe, that he didn't think was true. He didn't get up and say, for example, no one anticipated the breach of the levees, when we now on tape have Bush being told that the levees could very well be breached.

O'BEIRNE: We all knew they could be breached.

MATTHEWS: Wait a minute, Bob! Didn't he say, John Kerry, that he would have voted for the war, to authorize the war, even after he was told there were no WMD?

SHRUM: No, he did not say that. He never said -- Chris, he never said that. He said he would have voted to give the president the authority to use force to get inspectors in to find out whether there were WMDs.

MATTEWS: OK. All right. It's another way of saying the same thing.

SHRUM: I don't think we need to rehash that. The real problem is a president can't govern this country and deal with these crises with the kind of base Kate is talking about at 29 percent, even if they also happen to like Cheney.

Posted In
Government, National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
MSNBC
Person
Chris Matthews
Show/Publication
Hardball
Stories/Interests
Hurricane Katrina, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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