Matthews Dismisses Mitchell's Defense of Bush 41 Over Scanner Non-Gaffe

It's astonishing that someone whose profession is to talk politics still has not heard that the alleged gaffe of President George H.W. Bush being unaware of the existence of checkout scanners as he visited a grocery store during the 1988 campaign has been disputed, as the veteran MSNBC host repeated the alleged Bush gaffe while opening his syndicated Chris Matthews Show which aired on Sunday.

After guest Andrea Mitchell of NBC tried to correct him, he was still unconvinced and declared, "I'm still not letting him off on that."

 

As Mitchell was finishing her first turn to speak near the beginning of the show, she tried to correct Matthews. Mitchell: "A quick word about the supermarket scanner. That was an inaccurate pool report which followed him everywhere. I think even worse was, 'I'll have a splash of coffee.'"

Matthews replied: "Okay, why was it an inaccurate pool report?"

She explained: "Because he was actually asking how this particular scanner worked. He wasn't really asking-"

Unconvinced, Matthews injected: "Well, I'm looking at the picture there. It looks like he hadn't seen one of those before."

After fellow guest Richard Stengel of Time magazine and Mitchell noted that Bush "didn't know the price of a loaf of bread," Matthews concluded: "Okay, I'm not letting him off on that."

Below are both video and a transcript of the relevant portion of the Sunday, February 5, syndicated Chris Matthews Show:

ANDREA MITCHELL: A quick word about the supermarket scanner. That was an inaccurate pool report which followed him everywhere. I think even worse was, "I'll have a splash of coffee."

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay, why was it an inaccurate pool report?

MITCHELL: Because he was actually asking how this particular scanner worked. He wasn't really asking-

MATTHEWS: Well, I'm looking at the picture there. It looks like he hadn't seen one of those before.

RICHARD STENGEL, TIME MAGAZINE: And he didn't know the price of a loaf of bread.

MITCHELL: He didn't know the price of a loaf of bread.

MATTHEWS: Okay, I'm not letting him off on that.