While discussing President Obama's announcement that he will run for reelection on Hardball, Chris Matthews allowed long time Republican campaign operative Ed Rollins to punt on whether he knew what the potential (or maybe not) Republican candidates
April 5, 2011

While discussing President Obama's announcement that he will run for reelection on Hardball, Chris Matthews allowed long time Republican campaign operative Ed Rollins to punt on whether he knew what the potential (or maybe not) Republican candidates were up to with the birther talk we've been hearing out of the likes of Donald Trump and others and tells Rollins that "everyone knows" "what they're up to with that."

Two points on this. First of all, Rollins has been around long enough to be one of the big players in Republican politics and in helping with the Republican's Southern Strategy over the last thirty years or so and he knows full well where this "crapola" that Matthews asked about is coming from. And second, just because the Republican Party has gone off the rails with catering to the right wing of their base, that doesn't make Ed Rollins "mainstream" as Matthews called him here. He's still a right winger who's not been above playing the race card in the past and his ideology is hard right.

I'm quite sure Matthews has been following politics for long enough to know this, but it didn't stop him from painting Rollins as some sort of moderate Republican that doesn't belong in the party any more. Never mind his work for Nixon, or Reagan or Bush or that he was just running Huckabee's campaign last time around who's hardly what anyone could consider a moderate as well. He's just a "mainstream guy" now! Oh goodie.

It's horrid just how far to the right our political dialog has moved for that to be the conventional wisdom from our beltway Villagers like Matthews. Not bats**t insane equals the new center. Wonderful.

And a last note on this birther crap that none of them ever want to admit. Calling the president a "Kenyan" is just code for the N-word they're not allowed to say in public and all of them damn well know it.

Transcript below the fold.

MATTHEWS: Former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell`s an NBC News analyst now, and Ed Rollins -- welcome back, Kotter!

ROLLINS: Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Ed Rollins, one of the smart people on that side. In fact, I`m not sure you still fit in with that party. He chaired Mike Huckabee`s campaign in 2008. I think you`re too -- well, I`ll say it, mainstream bad guy, you! [...]

MATTHEWS: Yes. What do you think of that? You know, I`m sort of a near suburb guy, Ed Rollins, I mean, right at the city edge. I know what it`s like to be a suburbanite and a city guy both. Suburban people don`t like this crazy talk, this crap talk the governor`s talking about. They don`t like tom-tom drums and crazy talk from the right, like birther talk.

Everybody knows, by the way, what they`re up to with that, Ed.

ROLLINS: Look, first of all...

MATTHEWS: This guy isn`t some white guy from Arizona who might have been born in the territory. They get the point. He`s a Mao-Mao guy from Kenya who killed white people. I mean, that is the message you keep hearing from these people all the time now, from Huckabee, your guy. He`s a Mao-Mao guy. Where`d he get that crapola from?

ROLLINS: No, no, no, no. Let`s -- let`s just...

MATTHEWS: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, because he did say that just a week or two ago.

ROLLINS: I have waited three years to get back on your show here. You know, I was one of your first guests.

ROLLINS: And I have been on another network. So, I`m here. So, I would just like to get a little word in here.

MATTHEWS: Go for it.

ROLLINS: When you and I started in politics in the late `70s, early 80s, Democrats outnumbered Republicans 2-1. There`s now a parity.

Even though that Obama had a tremendous campaign and a tremendous victory, a great deal of that was, we had a very weak candidate and there was a real Bush fatigue.

So, at the end of the day, you know, we`re going to have a candidate who has been a governor, I assume. There`s no Washingtonians in this mix. It ain`t going to be Donald Trump. I don`t think it`s going to be Congresswoman Bachmann.

And, you know, when we get finished with our process, we will have someone who will go make an issue. And the issue won`t be about birthers and birth certificates. It will be about a runaway economy. It will be about unemployment. It will be about making tough choices this president has a total inability to make.

MATTHEWS: Front page "New York Times" today has a headline, it plays up the Tea Party. It reads, the Tea Party favorite -- that`s -- Bachmann stirs Iowa, and, no, her name ain`t Palin.

I think Bachmann is going to win the Iowa caucuses if Huckabee doesn`t go in. Do you think that is true?

ROLLINS: Well, you don`t know and I don`t know whether Huckabee is going to run again.


ROLLINS: If Huckabee runs, I assume he would be a very viable candidate.

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