Matthews Orders Sharpton to 'Beat' Unpatriotic 'Politics of Karl Rove'

Chris Matthews has had it with Karl Rove, and he told the Reverend Al Sharpton, during MSNBC's live coverage of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, to "beat" Rove in Ohio, "before we have the count." After Sharpton claimed the Democrats were "robbed" in 2000 and 2004, Matthews urged the Reverend not to let it happen again.

MATTHEWS: Well let's hope if you, for the purposes of your cause, Reverend Sharpton, that Karl Rove and Don King and the rest of them don't get together in Ohio again, like they did last time, and use the marriage issue to drum up a divisive vote, to take that state away. So you ought to keep your hands on that situation and beat them before we have the count, instead of joining in the pity thereafter.

Before Matthews interviewed Sharpton he bemoaned the tactics of Rove as he yelled, "People really do hate the politics of Karl Rove!," and "I really do think that hurts our patriotism."

The following rants occurred around 12:03AM [EDT] on MSNBC about an hour after Barack Obama's acceptance speech:

KEITH OLBERMANN: And as the speech settles in, it sounds even better.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Right. I think the, people are gonna read this speech tomorrow morning and the papers and watch it again on television again and again. And I think they're gonna see parts of it. The, I thought Pat Buchanan hit it, the nail on the head. It wasn’t a liberal speech. Of course it was a partisan speech. That's what it was meant to be. It took the fight to John McCain who is going to be one worthy adversary, in fact a formidable one, because of his war record and because of his veteran status. But it also had this other element that Pat talked to.

It's my hunch, and it's only gonna be a hunch until we see the election results, that not everybody, some people do love nasty partisanship. I think people really do hate the politics of Karl Rove! I think they really do hate, they really hate it! Because what it’s based on is finding differences. Finding differences in orientation and making them into the biggest deals in the world. Taking states like Ohio, on the marriage issue, finding things that divide us just for the purpose of dividing us. I really do think that hurts our patriotism.

[12:21am]

MATTHEWS: You know in the Bible they talk about Jesus serving the good wine last, I think the Democrats did the same. And here on the last night of the Democratic convention, having just been served the good wine of rhetoric and what most people believe to be one of the great convention speeches of all time. Certainly that was Pat Buchanan's verdict tonight. Let’s go right now to the Reverend Al Sharpton who has been cautiously and, and patiently waiting for us tonight to give his assessment.

...

MATTHEWS: Let me talk to you Reverend about something you're quite familiar with and quite exceptional at which is voter registration. It looks to me, that if you look at the big cities where we have highly contested state battles for electoral votes. Cleveland of course, Philadelphia of course. You look at those cities, will the Democratic Party be able to marshal a huge super-majority of voters? Something like I've been told that Philadelphia it has a quote of a 500,000 vote plurality it's expected to produce coming out of that night election. Do you think the African-American community will vote, in strong enough numbers, to offset those other communities where there will be resistance to this candidate?

AL SHARPTON: I, I think that, that, that not only African-Americans because Barack Obama is not running a black campaign. I think black-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos, young whites, old whites, working class whites, I think you’re gonna see a turnout because of the need for change. I think on the African-American side, one of the things we did this morning at the March on Washington breakfast, the leadership that is out here now in civil rights: Marc Morial and Martin Luther King III, myself and others.

We have talked about having a "Not This Time" campaign to not only register voters but to also to start going into mega-churches and into other places like colleges and have people check their registration because what tripped us up in 2000 and 2004 is a lot of people that thought they were still on the rolls found out they weren’t. Found their site had changed. So we're gonna be doing some dramatic bus tours through Florida in two weeks. Then through Ohio. Called the, "Not This Time," campaign.

We feel we were robbed in 2000, but not this time. We feel we were robbed in Ohio 2004, not this time. This kind of activism, with student activism and the Democratic Party's initiatives I think is going to create a momentum that will have an unprecedented turnout that will offset not only what the right wing tries to bring out, but will also have the scrutiny there, where we won't see tens of thousands of voters just disappear from the rolls and we end up on your shows the next night with a pity party rather than the victory for the American people.

MATTHEWS: Well let's hope if you, for the purposes of your cause, Reverend Sharpton, that Karl Rove and Don King and the rest of them don't get together in Ohio again, like they did last time, and use the marriage issue to drum up a divisive vote, to take that state away. So you ought to keep your hands on that situation and beat them before we have the count, instead of joining in the pity thereafter. Thank you very much to Reverend Al Sharpton.

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