Chris Matthews Show: 'Trollish' Limbaugh, Cheney & Gingrich Turn Off Families to GOP

<div style="float: right"><object width="240" height="194"><param name="movie" value="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=yd6UqGaGaG&amp;c1=0x298D9C&... name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/eyeblast.swf?v=yd6UqGaGaG&amp;c1=0x298D9C&... allowfullscreen="true" width="240" height="194"></embed></object></div>Chris Matthews asked his panel of reporters, on this weekend's syndicated &quot;The Chris Matthews Show,&quot; to offer their prescriptions on how the GOP, in the wake of the Arlen Specter departure, can regain its popularity to which most of the liberal reporters like Joe Klein and Howard Fineman suggested they needed to abandon their &quot;cut taxes, shrink government,&quot; message and some of their <b>&quot;trollish&quot;</b>spokesmen like Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich because they're turning off families, women and &quot;people who think that caring matters.&quot;[<a href="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/05/2009-05-03-MATTHEWS... target="_blank">audio available here</a>]<p>First up Time magazine's Joe Klein suggested the GOP should moderate on health care because it would finally make them, <b>&quot;look sane!&quot;</b> and &quot;bring them into...the mainstream of American politics.&quot; Then Newsweek's Fineman charged it was the conservative message of &quot;cut taxes, shrink,&quot; government that was the problem: &quot;But it doesn't sell with, with people outside of their base demographic which are white males. <b>There's something about that message that turns off families, that turns off women, that turns off people who think that caring matters about other-,</b> I know that this sounds silly, but caring about other people.&quot; And finally Matthews went further saying it's not just the GOP's message but it's messengers who are the problem: &quot;Can you, can you, can they get past the cacophony of Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich? <b>These are sort of trollish figures.</b> These aren't the caring people, are they?&quot; </p><p>The following exchange occurred on the May 3 edition of &quot;The Chris Matthews Show&quot;: </p><blockquote><!--break--><p>JOE KLEIN, TIME: I think health care is a real litmus test for this party. I mean Mitt Romney is the one guy who has created universal health insurance in Massachusetts. And I've talked to members of the Senate who are Republicans who are willing to go down this road. If the Republicans show some moderation on this issue and don't just say, &quot;no,&quot; then it'll be a sign that they might be able to come back.</p><p><img src="http://media.eyeblast.org/newsbusters/static/2009/05/2009-05-03-NBC-Matt... vspace="3" width="240" align="right" border="0" height="180" hspace="3" />CHRIS MATTHEWS: How does it help them if people like Mike Enzi out in Wyoming, people like that, do join this effort? Does it make them look nicer? What, what does it do for them?</p><p>KLEIN: It makes them look sane! It brings them into the, you know, the mainstream of American politics. </p><p>HOWARD FINEMAN, NEWSWEEK: Well Chris here, here's the thing that they have to confront. They're very comfortable, the core of the Republican Party, with their message of skepticism about government. Okay, that's what it is. Cut taxes, shrink government. Supposedly that's the theory. But it doesn't sell with, with people outside of their base demographic which are white males. There's something about that message that turns off families, that turns off women, that turns off people who think that caring matters about other-, I know that this sounds silly, but caring about other people. That's why the health care thing, Joe mentions, is so important. Because it's an expression of caring about people other than yourself. That's what matters. Yeah, yeah.</p><p>KLEIN: Caring about themselves! I mean you know a lot of those white men are scared they're gonna lose health insurance.</p><p>MATTHEWS: Can you, can you, can they get past the cacophony of Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich? These are sort of trollish figures. These aren't the caring people, are they? </p><p>(laughter)</p><p>MATTHEWS: I mean you talk about compassion</p><p>FINEMAN: Yeah. </p><p>MATTHEWS: Do these voices like Newt and, and these guys, I'm just being serious here.</p></blockquote>

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