Matthews falsely claimed “Hillary is for this war!”

On the March 21 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews offered his “theory” that Democrats, “who can't come up with a firm position on the war in Iraq,” are avoiding the issue by focusing instead on a “fight over a subpoena for [White House senior adviser] Karl Rove.” Matthews added: “The Democrats don't have a position on this war,” and went on to declare about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY): “Hillary is for this war!”

In fact, as Media Matters for America previously documented, on February 16, Clinton introduced a proposal setting a goal to redeploy nearly all U.S. troops out of Iraq by the end of President Bush's second term and, on March 15, she voted for the most recent Democratic Senate resolution on troop withdrawal. She also co-sponsored and --along with 38 other Democrats -- voted in favor of a June 2006 resolution by Democratic Sens. Carl Levin (MI) and Jack Reed (RI) calling on the Bush administration to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of that year.

Further, on March 19, Clinton released a statement on the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in which she expressed strong support for “bringing our troops home” :

It is time to change the course in Iraq so that we can start bringing our troops home. I am fighting to cap the number of troops in Iraq in order to stop the President's escalation and have proposed a phased redeployment of our troops so we can begin bringing them home. I've introduced comprehensive legislation that, if followed, would provide a roadmap out of Iraq. I hope that George Bush ends this war. But make no mistake -- if he doesn't, as President, I will.

From the March 21 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews:

MATTHEWS: We're back with Philadelphia radio talk show host Michael Smerconish and Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson.

So, let me ask you about -- you, Michael, are you convinced that this fight over a subpoena for Karl Rove is not going to light up the seats?

SMERCONISH: I don't think it's lighting up the seats out in the heartland of the country. I think it's too complicated of a story and that there's not enough incriminating evidence so far that suggests that it's a case of Republicans saying, “Go lock up that Democrat, even if it's unjustified.” When it gets to that level, people will be interested.

MATTHEWS: OK. Margaret, let me ask you about this. Is this issue an attempt by the Democrats, who can't come up with a firm position on the war in Iraq -- this is my theory. They can't agree. The Schumers of this world, the Hillarys of the world, don't like the Iraq war. They don't like it as an issue, but they love this one. They can bite into this baby.


MATTHEWS: And that's why they've shifted to this issue.

CARLSON: No, I agree with you on that. And there's a danger of going too far. And no, there's almost no solution to an insoluble problem in Iraq. So yes, they might --

MATTHEWS: I mean, I'm talking about --

CARLSON: They might want to change the subject.

MATTHEWS: I'm talking about the inability of the Democratic Party to write a platform to say where they stand on the war. The critics are right. The Democrats don't have a position on this war. Hillary is for this war!

CARLSON: They may have a position, they don't have solution. That's what's hard for --

MATTHEWS: Oh, I, no --

CARLSON: That's what's hard for congressional Democrats to come up with.