Matthews on Obama: 'The Fact That He's Black' Is Why 'They're Asking for His Papers'

During the midnight hour of MSNBC's Thursday night Democratic National Convention coverage, host Chris Matthews managed to squeeze in another charge of racism against a black President by "right wingers" as he brought up the birther movement and asserted:

But I got to tell you, the fact that he's black is the reason they're asking for his papers. It's so obvious. Doesn't anybody else get it?

As he interviewed DNC Chairwoman and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and New York Rep. Joseph Crowley, Matthews raised the issue:

I think the legitimacy question hit me tonight. The President has to say, "I'm the President." The President of the United States has to show his documents because the right wingers demanded them. And yet, George Romney ran for President, having been born in Mexico, and John McCain was born in Panama -- not the canal zone, Panama. And Barry Goldwater was born in the Arizona territory. And nobody ever said, "Where's your papers to prove you were born in the United States?"

After Rep. Crowley made a joke about Rep. Wasserman-Schultz being born in New York, Matthews continued:

But I got to tell you, the fact that he's black is the reason they're asking for his papers. It's so obvious. Doesn't anybody else get it?

It did not seem to occur to Matthews that, since President Obama is a Democrat while the other presidential candidates he named were Republicans,  movements on the right like birtherism would be inspired primarily as a way to derail a Democratic President with whom they disagreed ideologically. It would serve no purpose to undermine their own party's presidential nominee like Goldwater on McCain.