Time to Play: 'Who Said It?'

What pundit uttered the following liberal canard that makes it sound like Republicans don't care about poor people?

"He's [John McCain] a conservative. The way he breaks out of it, though, electorally, is to be Teddy Roosevelt, and this is gonna be the toughest thing for his campaign. He's got a group of people around him, and frankly a group, a party that doesn't want the government to do anything to help poor people. And he has to break out of that."

Was it?

A.) Chris Matthews, MSNBC

B.) Geraldo Rivera, Fox News

C.) Eleanor Clift, Newsweek

D.) David Brooks, New York Times

If you guessed D.) you're a winner! The so-called conservative "New York Times" columnist appeared on this weekend's "The Chris Matthews Show," and spoke in the kind of liberal language one would've expected  to come from the show's host or any of the other non-conservative panelists that included the "Chicago Tribune's" Clarence Page, NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell and his fellow "Times" colleague Elisabeth Bumiller.

The following is the full exchange as it occurred on the April 13 edition of the syndicated "The Chris Matthews Show:"

CHRIS MATTHEWS: David, the question that a lot of women, especially, care about is choice, abortion rights. And although they may like the cut of his jib, because he seems like a maverick, a sort of suburban independent type, he's not part of some machine--he does relentlessly say he's for strict constructionists. He likes Scalia, he likes Roberts, he likes Alito. How does he break out of that?

DAVID BROOKS: He doesn't. That's who, that's what he believes. He's believed that for 30 years. The guy is pro-life. He's a conservative. The way he breaks out of it, though, electorally, is to be Teddy Roosevelt, and this is gonna be the toughest thing for his campaign. He's got a group of people around him, and frankly a group, a party that doesn't want the government to do anything to help poor people. And he has to break out of that. He's begun to do that on housing.

MATTHEWS: Especially when there are more poor people now because of this recession.

BROOKS: Right. But he's got to, he's got to say, "Hey, Teddy Roosevelt took on corporations. He took on the health insurance, he took on the trusts of his day." And it's going to be up to, and this is gonna be the toughest part of his campaign, is breaking out of the restrictions on the role of government to be aggressive on behalf of people, sometimes against corporations, which is gonna make the party feel uncomfortable, but to me it's his only shot at getting those white, working class he needs.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.