MSNBC’s Matthews Trashes Obama as ‘Elitist’ to Delight of GOP (Video)

November 2, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)—On the eve of the election, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews saw fit to trash President Obama, as an “elitist” teleprompter-lugging guy who ignored the suffering of  unemployed Americans to play with his “pet projects” instead. Apparently, Matthews wanted to join the cool kids, you know, those elitist Washington pundits, who are all piling on the President, blaming him for the expected Democratic losses, because he didn’t focus on the economy enough.  There are a lot of reasons why the tide is now turning against the Democrats and none of them have to do with Obama’s alleged “elitism” and use of a teleprompter, which every single political speaker uses. It’s the economy stupid. Add to that, a 24-hour cable news station devoted entirely to anti-Obama right-wing propaganda and race-baiting. And unhinged Republicans determined to destroy the Obama presidency at any cost and you have a recipe for a toxic partisan climate. And yes, maybe President Obama’s messaging team could have done a better job at selling his many legislative accomplishments, while countering Republican smears, but that is not the fault of Obama’s so-called “elitism.” The right-wing blogosphere is now having a field day with Matthews’ attack against the President. Good going Matthews. And for the record, MSNBC is not the liberal counterweight to Fox News.

Matthews made his remarks during an appearance Monday on Andrea Mitchell’s “On the Record.” Matthews proceeded to repeat right-wing talking points, blaming Obama’s elitism for all of our troubles.

MATTHEWS: When he was a campaigner, he said what a great country it is, what an exceptional country it is. A guy like me made it. He was patriotic and inclusive. He was interactive. Ever since he’s been president, he’s elitist and comes with a teleprompter. He hasn’t listened. He’s talked at us rather than with us.

MITCHELL: That’s what he’s projected?

MATTHEWS: No, he actually does bring the teleprompter with him.

MITCHELL: You don’t think he’s interacted even with the town hall meetings?

MATTHEWS: No. and I think he hasn’t explained himself. Lincoln had to explain the Civil War darn it. Roosevelt had to explain everything through the Great Depression. You have to take people along with you. I think he’s guilty of that elitist charge. If you are going to spend a $1.6 trillion deficit in one year, you better explain to the American people why you did it. He never explained economics the way you were taught it. We were all taught in graduate school you have to run a big deficit during a grand recession. How about explaining that. Everybody didn’t go to grad school. How about explaining what you’re doing in healthcare and how that’s going to help us become a better economy in the long run–it will be painful in the short run politically, but economically it will give us something we can base our lives on– guaranteed healthcare. He never sold it as an economic tool, catalyst to greater growth down the road. Maybe it isn’t but he ought to sell it that way at least.

Matthews continued to dismiss the Obama administration’s many legislative achievements, “as pet projects,” while claiming that the President has ignored the suffering of unemployed Americans, by acting snobby and reading his elitist fancy talk from a teleprompter, or something.

MATTHEWS: This guy is out doing his pet projects. And they wonder why he isn’t their president. Why he is only his own president.

First of all Chris, Obama has done more in just 18-months of his presidency than other presidents have accomplished in two terms. Is historic healthcare reform providing millions of Americans access to affordable and quality healthcare a pet project? Our broken healthcare system was bankrupting families and threatened to bankrupt our country. What about Wall Street reform? A pet project too?

Matt Yglesias of Think Progress said it best.

“[O]bviously you don’t want to risk a congressional majority over something trivial. But the Affordable Care Act is not a trivial law. It’s one of the most important laws of the past 30 years. So then the question becomes, was it important in a good way? I think it was. And that’s the job of a congressional majority — to pass important bills that change the world for the better. I think the 111th Congress did a fair amount of that.”

And what of Obama’s other so-called pet projects? Steve Benen of the Political Animal has the rundown.

“I don’t expect the public to have an extensive knowledge of federal policymaking history, but I at least hoped Americans would realize the scope of recent accomplishments. We are, after all, talking about a two-year span in which Congress passed and the president signed the Affordable Care Act, the Recovery Act, Wall Street reform, student loan reform, Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, new regulation of the credit card industry, new regulation of the tobacco industry, a national service bill, expanded stem-cell research, the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the most sweeping land-protection act in 15 years, etc. Policymakers might yet add to this list in the lame-duck session.”

Certainly if the unemployment rate was lower, Democrats wouldn’t be poised to lose dozens of seat in the House and at least a handful in the Senate. Although Obama’s efforts to stimulate the Obama were successful and staved off a major depression, more is needed. But according to Matthews and other members of the Beltway punditry, Obama didn’t focus enough on the economy.

The New York Times’ Paul Krugman dismissed the nonsense that Obama failed to focus enough on the economy.

“Yes, Democrats would be in better shape if the economy were in better shape, Duh,” wrote Krugman.

The Nobel prize winning economist added that Obama’s critics, such as Chris Matthews are short on specifics and big on hyperbole.

“So when you say Obama should have focused more, what policies are you talking about? A bigger stimulus? As far as I can tell, almost no pundits are saying that. So what other concrete policies do they have in mind? I have never gotten an answer.”

“The notion seems to be that if Obama had spent the past 20 months going around with furrowed brow, saying, “I’m focused on the economy”, this would have (a) somehow created jobs (b) made people feel better about 9.6 percent unemployment.”

I’ll take President Obama’s “pet projects” any day of the week.

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