Chris Matthews not running for Senate after all

So much for setting that good example I thought he was by going where his (liberal) heart took him. And heck – it makes sense. Him winning that seat was not a sure thing, unlike his job, where he can pay homage to the Dahlibama on MSDNC every week night with no real repercussions.

But, while one openly liberal journalist will continue his daily pro-Obama love fests, another pro-Democrat journalist will follow his own liberal calling: The LAT reports that former Times managing editor Doug Frantz “has been chosen to be chief investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as it reorganizes under its new chairman, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.).”

Let the exodus (scroll) of liberal mainstream mediots continue.

Chris Matthews sets example other partisan journalists should follow

You’re probably thinking, “what is she – crazy?” But hear me out on this one. The Politico reports that Matthews is in talks with advisors as to whether or not to leave the MSDNC network in order to pursue his Senate dream:

Chris Matthews is dead serious about running for the Senate in Pennsylvania — and is shopping for a house in the state and privately discussing quitting MSNBC as proof of his intense interest, according to NBC colleagues, political operatives and friends.

Even so, some NBC insiders think it’s all simply a negotiating ploy to jack up his contract.

The garrulous host of the show “Hardball with Chris Matthews” has already picked out a home in Philadelphia to establish residency in the state, according to a Democratic operative in discussions with him about a potential candidacy. Over Thanksgiving weekend, at his vacation house in Nantucket, Matthews’ family members gave him their full backing.

As speculation surrounding his potential candidacy heats up, Matthews has also been asking advisers whether to step down from his MSNBC post well before his contract expires in June. At one recent meeting, he was advised that if he truly intends to run, he should resign from the network as soon as possible.

“We talked about the value of doing this now and six months from now. I advocated that he do this as soon as possible” the operative said. “It’s the MSNBC stuff that’s going to jam him up. I said, ‘If you want to be a U.S. senator, step up and get into the race.'”

I applaud Matthews for taking into serious consideration the possibility he’d need to leave the network in order to run for Senate (of course, he should have left it much, much earlier – but then again he wouldn’t have been able to help his fellow mediots with getting Obama elected, would he?). In fact, I encourage every other journalist out there who has a strong bias for one party or the other – who thinks it’s their “job” to help that party – to please follow Matthews’ example, retire from your profession and start pursuing your dream of officially working to advance that party’s principles – whether it be as a politico, an advisor or aide, or working for an advocacy group, or starting your own. Make your biases known upfront instead of continuing to hide behind a phony banner of “objectivity.” You know the real you is desperate to “come out of the closet.” I encourage you to do so, and to do so immediately. And in your places, we’d like to see journalists that really are objective instead of putting on pretenses.

Ok, my dear readers – still think I’m crazy? :>

Related to all this, the polling has started on the potential match up between Matthews and Specter. Rasmussen has the latest on that. Don Surber has more thoughts on the poll numbers. And at least one prominent liberal – columnist David Sirota – thinks Matthews is insulting the intelligence of Pennsylvanians with his desire to represent them in the Senate. He actually makes a somewhat decent argument in a couple of the paragraphs he wrote. On the other hand, he supports Al Franken’s Senate candidacy in MN. Go figure …

(Via Memeo)

Chris Matthews to run for Senate in PA?

Apparently he wasn’t kidding when he said he thought it was his “job” to help the Obama adminstration succeed:

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A Pennsylvania Democratic party leader says MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews may be considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2010.

The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reports Matthews met with state party leaders this past week in Washington to discuss a possible bid to unseat Republican Sen. Arlen Specter.

Party official Mary Isenhour says she left the meeting feeling that Matthews still hadn’t made up his mind.

The 62-year-old Matthews hosts MSNBC’s “Hardball” and provides political commentary on NBC’s “Today.” He ran unsuccessfully for a Pennsylvania congressional seat in 1974.

Matthews hasn’t denied reports that he’s considering a run, but he is denying a report that he’s begun recruiting – you guessed it – former Obama staffers to help him out:

Chris Matthews is denying reports that he’s recruiting staffers from the Obama campaign for a possible race for Senator from Pennsylvania in 2010.

“It is absolutely not true,” Matthews said in a statement posted on Matthews appears to be denying that he’s staffing up — but not necessarily denying that he’s in some way planning a campaign.

A Quinnipiac poll this week shows Matthews trailing GOP Sen. Arlen Specter by a 45%-33% margin. But oddly enough this is not because of any high negatives — instead, 60% of Pennsylvania voters said they hadn’t heard enough about Matthews to form an opinion of him. Outside of people like us who track politics incessantly, he might not actually be that big a name.

That will, of course, change the minute he asks his hero for a campaign plug.

In related Senate election news, the Power Line blog has the latest developments on the Coleman/Franken race recount. And don’t forget, the Georgia Senate runoff between incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat challenger Jim Martin is Tuesday.

Cross-posted to Right Wing News, where I am helping guestblog for John Hawkins on Sundays.

Screen grab of the day

In part of fulfilling his “duty” to help the incoming administration succeed, Chris Matthews celebrated Barack Obama with a toast alongside Ellen DeGeneres today on her show:

MATTHEWS, picking up shot glass: “To Barack Obama!”
DEGENERES, toasting: “Yeah. To Barack Obama!”

Here’s the video:

Hat tip for the screen grab, video, and partial play by play to Geoffrey Dickens at Newsbusters, who has the complete transcript of the Obama “thrill up my leg” lovefest.

Another “thrill up my leg” moment from Chris Matthews

During an interview on Joe Scarborough’s show this morning, Obamaniac Chris Matthews gushed that it was “his job” to make the Obama presidency work.

Watch/read the video and excerpts here.

You’ll get no more of a sincere admission by a member of the mainstream media than that (excepting certain female journalists, of course).

MSNBC: Olbermann and Matthews will no longer anchor live election coverage

The NYT reports this morning:

MSNBC tried a bold experiment this year by putting two politically incendiary hosts, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, in the anchor chair to lead the cable news channel’s coverage of the election.

That experiment appears to be over.

After months of accusations of political bias and simmering animosity between MSNBC and its parent network NBC, the channel decided over the weekend that the NBC News correspondent and MSNBC host David Gregory would anchor news coverage of the coming debates and election night. Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Matthews will remain as analysts during the coverage.

The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left.

“The most disappointing shift is to see the partisan attitude move from prime time into what’s supposed to be straight news programming” said Davidson Goldin, formerly the editorial director of MSNBC and a co-founder of the reputation management firm DolceGoldin.

Executives at the channel’s parent company, NBC Universal, had high hopes for MSNBC’s coverage of the political conventions. Instead, the coverage frequently descended into on-air squabbles between the anchors, embarrassing some workers at NBC’s news division, and quite possibly alienating viewers. Although MSNBC nearly doubled its total audience compared with the 2004 conventions, its competitive position did not improve, as it remained in last place among the broadcast and cable news networks. In prime time, the channel averaged 2.2 million viewers during the Democratic convention and 1.7 million viewers during the Republican convention.

The success of the Fox News Channel in the past decade along with the growth of political blogs have convinced many media companies that provocative commentary attracts viewers and lures Web browsers more than straight news delivered dispassionately.

“In a rapidly changing media environment, this is the great philosophical debate” Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, said in a telephone interview Saturday. Fighting the ratings game, he added, “the bottom line is that we’re experiencing incredible success.”

But as the past two weeks have shown, that success has a downside. When the vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin lamented media bias during her speech, attendees of the Republican convention loudly chanted “NBC.”

In interviews, 10 current and former staff members said that long-simmering tensions between MSNBC and NBC reached a boiling point during the conventions. “MSNBC is behaving like a heroin addict” one senior staff member observed. “They’re living from fix to fix and swearing they’ll go into rehab the next week.”

Howard Kurtz has more:

The move, confirmed by spokesmen for both networks, follows increasingly loud complaints about Olbermann’s anchor role at the Democratic and Republican conventions. Olbermann, who regularly assails President Bush and GOP nominee John McCain on his “Countdown” program, was effusive in praising the acceptance speech of Democratic nominee Barack Obama. He drew flak Thursday when the Republicans played a video that included a tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that if the networks had done that, “we would be rightly eviscerated at all quarters, perhaps by the Republican Party itself, for exploiting the memories of the dead, and perhaps even for trying to evoke that pain again. If you reacted to that videotape the way I did, I apologize.”

Matthews, who has criticized politicians in both parties, drew less criticism for his convention role but became a divisive figure during the primaries when he described how he was inspired by Obama’s speeches and made disparaging remarks about Hillary Clinton, for which he later apologized.

In May, MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in an interview that during live events Olbermann and Matthews “put on different hats. I think the audience gets it. . . . I see zero problem.”

But NBC News journalists, who often appear on the cable channel, did see a problem, arguing behind the scenes that MSNBC’s move to the left — which includes a new show, debuting tonight, for Air America radio host Rachel Maddow — was tarnishing their reputation for fairness. Tom Brokaw, the interim host of “Meet the Press,” said that at times Olbermann and Matthews went too far.

Olbermann and Matthews will remain as analysts during major political events, and officials at both networks, who declined to be identified discussing personnel moves, said Olbermann had initiated the discussions to clarify his role. They said Olbermann’s influence at MSNBC would in no way be diminished and that the shift would enable him and Matthews to offer more candid analysis during live coverage. Olbermann confirmed yesterday he had initiated the discussions.

“More candid” analysis? Candid like the “thrill up my leg” type of “candid”? Candid like the “[McCain should go buy] more Depends or something like that” type of “candid”? I think I’ll pass.

Jennifer Rubin sums up:

The Left has compared MSNBC to Fox, but the analogy has always fallen on exactly this point: Fox separated talk-show partisans (e.g. Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly) from news anchors and reporters ( e.g. Brit Hume, Chris Wallace) while MSNBC did not. This move is a small but essential corrective step.

From the outside one can easily ask, “What took so long?” But the temptation to give into bullies and to seek some small ratings/monetary advantage is great. It is no easy thing to say “enough” and somebody –or somebodies — at MSNBC/NBC did just that. But whether this is part of a greater course correction, one that will be reflected in more than a shuffling of the anchor chairs on the deck of the MSM Titanic remains to be seen

IMO, it’s not going to get better because – as Rubin notes above – the only thing that has changed is that they have Olbermann and Matthews in different chairs now. They’ll still be around, proving their “analysis” during primetime election coverage, analysis that doesn’t serve to further the debate but instead to inflame it.

Related: Speaking of inflammatory idiots, check out how MTV talked about Gov. Palin and her family last night during the VMAs. 

Infighting going on between MSNBC’s hotshots

The NY Post has a story today, complete with a photo of an irritated-looking Joe Scarborough, on how there is some internal brawling going on between MSNBC’s show hosts Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, David Shuster, and Scarborough:

ANIMOSITY among MSNBC anchors has reached a mile-high peak at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, with on-air squabbling between such big egos as Joe Scarborough, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews and David Shuster.

Scarborough, who served in Congress as a Republican representative from Florida, seems to be particularly touchy being the only host who isn’t openly pro-Democratic.

Yesterday, after Shuster referred to “your party, the Republican Party,” Scarborough went off, sparking a seven-minute exchange.

“I will let you know that ‘my party,’ my party loathes me much more than your party, the Democratic Party, loathes me,” Scarborough seethed. “What about your party? What’s your party, David Shuster? David, what’s your party?”

“I have no party. I’m a complete independent,” Shuster replied.

“Oh, I feel so comforted by the fact that you’re independent. I bet everyone at MSNBC has ‘independent’ on their voting cards,” said Scarborough.

Scarborough declined to talk to Page Six, but sources say he and NBC anchor Tom Brokaw disagree with MSNBC’s decision to position itself as the channel for George W. Bush-haters.

At a forum on Sunday, when Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell called MSNBC “the official network of the Obama campaign,” Brokaw said, “I think Keith has gone too far. I think Chris has gone too far.”

Insiders say Olbermann is pushing to have Brokaw banned from the network and is also refusing to have centrist Time magazine columnist Mike Murphy on his show.

Newsbusters has video and transcripts of the Scarborough/Shuster on-air confrontation, of Keith Olbermann’s ‘accidental open mic’ dissing of Joe Scarborough while Scarborough was commenting on the goings-on at the convention,  and of yesterday’s on-air face-off between Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews.

My only comment to add to this is: Considering MSNBC has made it very clear what audience they’re trying to cater to, does all this childish squabbling between their big-name hosts really surprise anyone?

Chris Matthews’ crush on Barack Obama deepens

Nearly a month ago, Chris Matthews declared on his “Hardball” show that the candidacy of Barack Obama gave him a “thrill up his leg.” With that, we witnessed the official beginning of Chris Matthews’ crush on BO.

It was anticipated that in response to BO’s big speech yesterday on race, Chris Matthews would practically be blasting off into space gushing about how great it was and, as Geoffrey Dickens at Newsbusters reports, Matthews did not disappoint:

On Tuesday night’s “Hardball”, Chris Matthews praised the current Democratic frontrunner’s speech on race as “Worthy of Abraham Lincoln,” and also claimed it bypassed Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” address as the “best speech ever given on race in this country.” Of Barack Obama’s speech in Philadelphia today, Matthews went on to declare: “I think this is the kind of speech I think first graders should see, people in the last year of college should see before they go out in the world. This should be, to me, an American tract.”

Here’s one of several excerpts from the transcript:

MATTHEWS: Let’s all listen now to a bit of the speech. We should all, by the way, at some point after the program, please wait for the end of “Hardball,” at least. But check this out on our Web site,, you can watch the whole speech. I think this is the kind of speech I think first graders should see, people in the last year of college should see before they go out in the world. This should be, to me, an American tract. Something that you just check in with, now and then, like reading Great Gatsby and Huckleberry Finn. Read this speech, once in a while, ladies and gentlemen. This is us. It’s us with the scab ripped off. It’s white people talking the way they do when they’re alone with other white people, some people. It’s black people talking the way they are when there’s not white people around. It’s an honest statement from a guy who comes from both backgrounds. We have never heard anything like this.

Can we officially call him “ObamaGuy” now?

Barack Obama will be in Charlotte for a speech this afternoon at 3:30 pm. I only got notice of it on Monday, which is too short a notice for me to be able to take off to attend. I’m sure there will be other speeches he will give in this state in the next couple of months, seeing as it now has become a big player in the Dem race for the nomination (the NC primary is May 6th). Hopefully I’ll be able to go to at least one of his appearances, so I can experience firsthand the man who supposedly rivals Abe Lincoln and MLK in his speech-giving ability. Two months also gives me time to re-learn CPR, a skill which I’m sure comes in handy at any BO speech. 8-|

Related: The NYT and Newsweek imitate Obama Girl as well in their sugary sweet reviews of the O-man’s speech.

Quote of the day, from a recent convert to the Cult of Obama

Re: Barack Obama’s speech last night, Hardball’s Chris Matthews had this to gush:

I have to tell you, you know, it’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event. He speaks about America in a way that has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the feeling we have about our country. And that is an objective assessment.

How soon will it be before he faints?

Thank goodness that we can still count on the “objective assessments” of Bob Owens and Captain Ed on the subject of the Illinois ‘messiah’ ;)

And in all seriousness, the better quote from yesterday re: Obamamania comes from John Derbyshire, who asked:

What are we electing here, a faith healer?

Amy Proctor made a pretty convincing case a few days ago that yes, indeed, in the eyes of the O-faithful, they are electing a “faith healer” of sorts.

Bonus coverage: What is Barack Obama’s idea of a “patriotic” corporation? Bryan at Hot Air explains.

Related reading: There’s an emerging discussion in the leftosphere about whether Senator Obama is ‘sufficiently bloodthirsty’ enough to take on America’s enemies abroad. And the WSJ asserts that Obama’s votes on wiretaps tells us quite a bit about the Senator’s national security creds – or, more to the point, lack thereof.

Liveblogging tonight’s GOP presidential candidates debate (EXIT QUESTION: IS CHRIS MATTHEWS THE WORST MODERATOR EVER?)

ELECTION 2008: The Republican Candidates Debate – 5/3/07

The stage is set, and tonight’s the night for the first of several scheduled debates for the Republican hopefuls for president. USA Today has a who’s who of the candidates here, and also writes about the underdogs in the race and how this could give them the opportunity to shine, presuming that one of the ‘big 3’ (McCain, Giuliani, and Romney) make a mistake:

Ten Republicans, one stage, 90 minutes — just enough time for Rudy Giuliani, John McCain or Mitt Romney to make a major gaffe as underdog rivals scramble for relevancy during the first GOP presidential debate Thursday.


Lesser-known candidates like Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and former Govs. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin and Jim Gilmore of Virginia were simply looking for respect, hoping to be seen as serious contenders in the jam-packed field.

Reps. Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Duncan Hunter of California were sure to use the gathering as a platform to plug their signature issues: immigration and national security, respectively. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas also was to be on stage for the debate, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library north of Los Angeles.

MSNBC and The Politico were co-sponsoring the debate, moderated by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. Library officials said the former president’s widow, Nancy Reagan, would attend.

Ahhhnold is scheduled to be in attendance as well.

Since the debate is being held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, expect to hear the Gipper’s name referenced a few times as each candidate will try to impress upon the voters their conservative credentials (cough cough to the ‘big 3’ on that!).

Will a modern-day Reagan emerge? Stay tuned …

If you can’t get to a TV to watch the debate, The Politico will broadcast the debates live tonight. MSNBC carried the Dem debate live online, but I’m not sure they will be tonight since their debate partner will be broadcasting it. If there is a link from MSNBC to a livestream of the debate, I’ll post it, because I think it’s a good idea to have an alternate place to visit and watch in case the other link experiences technical issues.

I’ll be back later tonight to start the liveblogging festivities :) Don’t forget: The debate starts at 8 Eastern Time.

BTW, there’s a storm passing over this area, but hopefully it won’t affect my I’net connection – it hasn’t before, but there’s always a first time! Just letting you know, just in case …

Update 1: Sheesh. It’s bad enough that Chris Matthews will be moderating the debate, but Keith “I’m not trying to cater to the Nutroots even though I sure as hell act like it” Olbermann will be hosting pre and post debate coverage on MSNBC, too. Ick.

Update 2: Video of Reagan and his mastery of one-liners. A trip down memory lane :)

7:12 PM: Politico has reports of what’s happening “behind the scenes” before the debates get started.

7:20 PM: As promised, for those who can’t get to a TV to watch the debate, here’s a direct link to MSNBC’s upcoming live online broadcast of the debate (right now, they are showing a clip from yesterday’s Hardball). I haven’t yet found Politico’s link.

7:59 PM: Here’s Politico’s live link.

The following takes place between 8pm and 9:30 pm:

8:02PM: Matthews appears, thanks Mrs. Reagan and the camera pans to Mrs. Reagan and Ahhnold. Intro’d the candidate. Is now going over the rules.

8:04: Matthews: Invokes Reagan. How do we get this country on the right track – to Rudy. Rudy said we need to bring back optimism.

8:05: To McCain: What would he need to win the war in Iraq. Answer: Support of the American people. The current strategy is succeeding.

8:06: McCain slams Harry Reid’s “war is lost” comment.

8:07: Same question to Gov. Thompson: Answer: Must support the troops. Iraq should vote so we can find out if they want us there. If they don’t, we get out. Huh? Would also split oil reserves. Had another answer but I didn’t hear it.

8:08: Duncan Hunter said the key to succeeding in Iraq is the Iraqi military. He sounds really strong.

8:09: Same question to Gov. Romney. Said we shouldn’t govern by polls, even though majority of American people say war can’t be won. Says we can’t leave before the job is done in Iraq or we will have to go back, due to regional conflict.

8:10: How do we win the war when there is another terrorist to take the place of the dead ones, and Islamic support of the US in Middle eastern countries is low? (Sorry, didn’t get the answer to that one)

8:11: Would Gov. Huckabee have fired Rummy prior to the last elections. Huckabee said it was the President’s call, but that the generals with boots on the ground should have been listened to.

8:13: To Gov. Gilmore, on Rummy removal: Would a shakeup in the admin be good for the admin? Gilmore: says changes have already taken place, we must engage not just Iraq, but all of the Middle East to get support in defeating Islamofascism.

8:14: Congressman Paul: Voted against the war. Said we should have a non-interventionist foreign policy. Going off on the vote in favor of war.

8:16: To McCain: Has Iran already committed an act of war? What would his response be? McCain is talking about how Iran poses one of the greatest threats to the world, to the security of the ME, we must bring greater pressures to Iran using our allies, we can’t rely on Russia and China. At the end of the day, we can’t allow Iran to get nukes.

What is McCain’s “trip wire”? He’s not really answering.

8:18: Hypothetical to Tancredo: Israel says Iran is getting ready to launch a nuke strike, what will you do? If Israel is put in that position, of course we response in appropriate fashion – under conditions.

8:20: Rudy said war with Iran would be very dangerous. We’d need to rely on our intelligence rather than Israel’s. Invokes Reagan.

To Gov. Gilmore: Moderator quotes Romney on Osama quote (“It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”) – Gilmore says it is important to capture him.

Romney explains quote: says he doesn’t want to fall into the Democratic trap of this war being about one man.

Questions coming from Politico readers:

To Mccain: Would he have Tancredo as head of Immigration. No.

Question: Should we change the Constitution to allow Ahhnold to be president. All candidates are saying no.

8:25: Matthews is an awful moderator.

To Rudy: Any regrets with the African American community during his time as mayor? Talks about his low crime rate, getting people off of welfare.

To Romney: What do you dislike most about America? There’s nothing to hate about America.

***These questions are stupid!****

To Gov. Huckabee: Is global warming real? It’s all of our responsibility to leave this planet better for future generations, no matter who is responsible for ‘causing’ it. Non-answer.

To Tancredo: I didn’t catch the question. I think it was about stem cells.

To Hunter: Does he consider himself to be a compassionate conservative? Yes. Goes to Iran question. We should use whatever means necessary to confront the threat from Iran.

***Bring back Brian Williams!***

To Paul: Would he work to phase out IRS? Paul says “yes” – we have to change the way we view government.

8:29: Next segment – values:

Roe v Wade? All say it would be good when Roe v. Wade is repealled, Rudy says yes, but make it a state right if it’s not overturned.

More on abortion: Gilmore says woman should have right to abortion up to 12 weeks, but worked as pro-lifer in his state.

Thompson: Should be left up to the states.

Romney: Says he changed his mind on abortion when he started studying stem cell research and cloning.

Questioner says some would see him as doing this for political reasons. Romney is explaining his answer again.

Brownback: Could support someone in his party that is pro-abortion, even though he has a pro-life record.

Rudy is struggling on the abortion question. Matthews is badgering him.

To McCain: Can you restore Reagan’s unified national purpose? McCain says he can, and is prepared to take on the greatest challenge of our time.

8:36: To Hunter: Giving defense background, says he’s strong on national defense and is looking over the horizon for other threats.

8:37: Huckabee: We need to return to Reagan’s “city on a hill” vision. We are a culture of life. Life issue is not insignificant.

To Ron Paul: He just sounds wacked.

To Romney: What would he say to Roman Catholic bishops who would deny communion to abortion supporters. Romney said “nothing” – it’s not government’s place to tell them who to give communion to.

To Huckabee: Faith should impact decision process. Matthews is badgering him like he’s on Hardball.

****This debate is going all over the place – no rhyme or reason *****

Brownback: We should celebrate our faith, and shouldn’t be shouted out of the public square.

To Hunter: Should candidates take centrist positions in order to get elected, like Ahhnold did? Hunter said we need to take the “right” positions on immigration, etc. Talking up his immigration credentials.

To Gilmore: Karl Rove is your friend. Would you keep him in the WH if you were pres.? Gilmore isn’t taking Matthews bait.

Tancredo: No, Rove would not be in the WH if I were pres because of his immigration position.

Rudy: Has increased influence of Christian conservatives in Republican party been good for it? Yes.

Thompson: I’m a reliable conservative, elected four times as Gov. in Wisconsin.

8:47: To Brownback, asked about Republican corruption – Brownback responds there are corrupt Democrats, and says all corrupt politicians should be punished.

Brownback said we need to get back to family values. Too many children born in illegitimacy.

Tancredo: Corruption not unique to Republican party. Responds to “centrist” question – “we’re not in a centrist place” – Reagan won because he believed in principles with all his heart.

8:49: To McCain: asked about first responder radios. Didn’t catch the answer. Says Republicans didn’t win in 2006 because they lost their way.

More Politico questions:

8:51: What specific programs would McCain cut in budget? Would start with defense acquisition, cost overrun. Each program must justify existence every year.

8:52: Huckabee: How would you rate the Bush administration’s handling of the war? Grade? Says grade shouldn’t be given until job is complete.

8:53: Romney: I didn’t catch the question but it’s about abortion.

8:54: Rudy asked about ‘nuanced’ position on abortion. He hates abortion, wouldn’t encourage abortion but encourages adoption, he respects the woman’s right to choose. Supports PBA, supports Hyde Amendment.

To Thompson: Does racism exist in our society and what can a pres. do about it? As Gov. of WI, I tried to bring the two sides together.

To Tancredo: Who should be president other than himself? Says he should be president. Brings up immigration says it should be a major focus of debate.

McCain responds: We’ve been working for a comprehensive solution to illegal immigration problem. Need temporary worker program.

Hunter: (Politico question) Did you watch Al Gore’s documentary? Hunter says no, but we should be energy independent.

Paul: Can he make good decisions in a crisis situation. Cite an example of when you have done that. Paul says he’s done that as a doctor.

Gilmore: Asked about women prison population – what would you do to address issue of mothers behind bars, and the children left behind. Gilmore says the court should make decisions on those matters.

Down the line question:

Embryonic research question (because Mrs. Reagan is in the audience):

Romney: Altered embryonic research – supports?? (don’t understand his answer). Won’t create new embryos through farming.

Brownback: We are curing people with adult stem cells. Does not support embryonic SCR.

Tancredo: No.

Huckabee: No.

Hunter: No.

Thompson: Can’t answer the question yes or no. (Riiight!)

McCain: Yes, fund embryonic stem cell research.

Paul: No – programs like this are not supported by Constitution.

Rudy: No – sort of. (Another nuanced answer).

Tancredo: No.

9:02: Romney: question on healthcare – he’s proud of his statewide healthcare program. Says it’s not socialized healthcare.

9:03: McCain, now supports extending President’s tax cuts – didn’t used to. He said he originally opposed it because of the out of control DC spending.

Down the line:

What tax would you like to cut?

Romney: No interest on capital gains for middle income Americans.

Brownback: Would like an alternative flat tax.

Gilmore: Alt. min. tax.

Huckabee: Cut taxes 94 times as gov. Advocates fair tax, get rid of IRS.

Hunter: Agrees with Huckabee, especially on import/export double taxation. Eliminate manufacturing taxes on companies that stay and keep workers in America.

Thompson: Vetoed 1900 items as gov. Reduced taxes. Would elimiate alt. min. tax. Advocates flat tax.

McCain: Give pres. line item veto. Eliminate alt. min. tax. Give $3K tax credit so poor people can afford healthcare.

Paul: Get rid of income tax, get rid of inflation tax.

Rudy: Reduce AMT. Get rid of death tax.

Tancredo: Agrees on AMT and flat tax.

9:09: Would appoint a Democrat in his administration. Who would it be? Besides Joe Lieberman. Says he wouldn’t look at party when appointing people in his admin. He knows how to reach across the aisle.

****I know how to reach for a different button to vote, too, Senator.****

Hunter: Gov’t does poor job on immigration, good job on military precision.

McCain: Do you believe in evolution? Yes. And I believe in creation, too. Oookay.

Romney: What cabinet official would you carry into your admin? Romney said he would bring in a whole new team.

9:12: For Rudy: What is the diff. between a Sunni and a Shia Muslim? Explains the answer.

Gilmore: Do other candidates deserve the label of ‘conservative’? – Gilmore said he’s a consistent conservative, didn’t dis other candidates.

Paul: Do you trust the MSM? Some of them. He trusts the Internet more. Never voted to regulate the Internet.

Brownback: Do your religious beliefs influence your foreign policy thinking? Faith influences everyone. It doesn’t dominate it, but it does influence it.

Rudy: What do you consider to be your most significant weakness? Says he has strengths and weaknesses – won’t describe weaknesses.

Brownback: Can you find faults in Rudy? No. (Chris Matthews impromptu question).

****Anyone got a count on how many times Reagan’s name has been mentioned?****

Huckabee: Which mistakes have you learned not to repeat? Corporate corruption must be stopped.

Tancredo: Will you work for women’s rights on abortion and fair wages? Will on fair wages – says there is no right to kill another person.

Thompson: How many American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq and how many have been injured? Answers, and says we must give the troops what they need.

Rudy: National tamperproof ID card? Yes, he thinks it’s critical to have that database.

Romney: On board with the card, too.

Brownback: No, we don’t need a temperproof ID card. We need to secure the border, and make sure the Social Security card means something.

McCain: On board with the tamperproof ID card.

Paul: Totally opposed to card. Purpose of government is to protect citizens privacy.

Tancredo: Agrees with Paul.

Scooter Libby – should he be pardoned?

Romney goes off on Fitzgerald for knowing Libby wasn’t leaker and proceeding with investigation.

Brownback: Leave it up to President.

****This is a stupid question. These guys won’t make that decision****

Tancredo: President must make his case to American people if he pardons Libby. Tancredo says he would pardon him. Should pardon two border agents, too.

Terri Schiavo question:

Should Congress have acted: Romney – family should make decision. Congress’ decision to get involved was a mistake.

Brownback: Yes, Congress should have gotten involved. Schiavo’s life was sacred. We should stand for life.

McCain: Very difficult issue. Says Congress acted too hastily.

Rudy: Courts, not Congress, should decide.

Would it be good for America for a Clinton to be living in WH?

Romney: You’ve got to be kidding.

Brownback: No.

Tancredo: No.

*** This is another stupid question. What does this have to do with the issues?***

Huckabee: No one knows Hillary better than I do on this stage. LOL.

McCain: No.

Paul: No.

Rudy: No. Would mean we are back on defense on terrorism.

Tancredo: No.

How would you be different from GWB?

Romney: we each have our own values.

McCain: I would not mismanage the Iraq war. Veto spending bill.

Gilmore: Homeland security must be a BIG effort.

Huckabee: States need more power, not feds.

Hunter: We’re losing our industrial base with bad trade policy.

Brownback: Would push three state country in Iraq. Need political solution included in Iraq success.

Tancredo: President is a good man who has made some bad, overreaching decisions.

Thompson: Transform healthcare. Set up peaceful way to settle Iraq situation.

Rudy: Remind ourselves that on 9-11 we thought we’d be attacked on our homeland, we should remind people of how GWB made the right decision after 9-11 and other Republicans need to remember that. Good answer.

Paul: Would never abuse habeas corpus.

Matthews is wrapping up.

Strange, right before the live feed cut off I heard someone say “you jerkoffs”!


My thoughts on this debate: It was very tough to follow. Matthews was a terrible moderator and treated the candidates as though they were on Hardball, not debating. Chris, take pointers from your colleague Brian Williams next time, ok? You’re a lousy debate moderator.

I don’t think there was any clear winner to the debates tonight because there was no rhyme or reason to the questioning. Duncan Hunter made it a point to focus on the border and security, which was good, Rudy was all over the map on abortion, but no one really stood out. They didn’t have enough time to answer the questions, because Matthews was too busy wasting it badgering people on their answers and not letting them finish (IOW, he’s acting like he’s hosting Hardball). And a lot of the questions that WERE asked were not issue-related. Like the one about having Bill Clinton back in the WH (if Hillary were elected). Huh? That has nothing to do with the issues.

If you watched the debate and were unimpressed with Chris Matthews as moderator, let MSNBC know it:

I know I will.


Lots of good liveblog links and commentary at Instapundit’s, though, even though he didn’t include the ST blog ;) Some good liveblogging from Malkin, too.


Exit question: Is Chris Matthews the worst debate moderator ever? Let me hear from you in the comments!


Take the “who won” poll at Drudge. Right now, Romney is in the lead.