Matthews Berates 'Jealous, Little, Phony' GOP for 'Pathetic Swipe' at Obama Trip

Chris Matthews, on Monday's "Hardball," was outraged at the RNC's criticism of the Obamas wasting taxpayer money to go see a Broadway play as he railed that it was a "jealous, pathetic swipe at the First Couple," and remarked "What a jealous, little political party the Republicans have become." Matthews also took a shot at former President George W. Bush as he contrasted Obama's tastes with Bush's as he claimed the problem he and others had with Bush was his, "Utter disdain for any kind of thought or culture. His total lack of curiosity toward anything beyond his own backyard." Matthews then questioned if the GOP attack was made out of "jealousy or simple nincompoop anti-intellectualism?"

MATTHEWS: Well let's get this straight. President Bush's jaunts to Crawford, Texas were okay by their lights, but President Obama's day trips to New York are cause for outrage? This is the kind of pissant criticism that makes you wonder why Michael Steele still has his job. Is this jealousy or simple nincompoop anti-intellectualism? Whatever it is I like having a president who takes his wife up to Broadway. [audio available here]

The following are all of Matthews' teasers and then his anti-RNC rant as it occurred during the "Sideshow," segment of his June 1, edition of "Hardball":

CHRIS MATTHEWS: And what's wrong with dinner and a Broadway show? Well when it comes to Barack and Michelle Obama just ask the Republicans. Here's the front page of today's New York Post. We'll have the GOP's jealous, pathetic swipe at the First Couple in the "Hardball Sideshow tonight."

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MATTHEWS: Up next President and Mrs. Obama go to New York and take in a show but the Republicans don't seem to like it. They're raining on their little parade. They go up for one day and this phony outrage. Next in the "Sideshow." What a jealous, little political party the Republicans have become. You're watching "Hardball," only on MSNBC.

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MATTHEWS: Back to "Hardball." Time for the "Sideshow." I don't think the Republicans get it yet. The problem many of us had with President Bush was not that he was any less intelligent than most presidents or certainly not most journalists. God gave him brains. It was his utter disdain, George Bush's utter disdain for any kind of thought or culture. His total lack of curiosity toward anything beyond his own backyard. Now here goes the Republican Party that should have learned a lesson from this experience, taking a cheap shot at what the voters chose last November, a President – excuse me for saying this – with interests. You can see Michelle and Barack Obama there returning from their night out at in the Big Apple on Saturday night. The First Couple dined at the West Village's Blue Hill restaurant and took in a Broadway show, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, about black-America in the early 20th century. The President was making good on a campaign promise, that's how he put it, the one that he made to his wife. One that Republicans were all too ready to pounce on. The day after Obama's dream date to New York the Republican National Committee put out this e-mail. "Putting On A Show," they called it. Calling out the Obamas for jetting away at taxpayer's expense. An RNC spokesman piled on adding, quote, "If President Obama wants to go to the theater, isn't the presidential box at the Kennedy Center good enough?" Well let's get this straight. President Bush's jaunts to Crawford, Texas were okay by their lights, but President Obama's day trips to New York are cause for outrage? This is the kind of pissant criticism that makes you wonder why Michael Steele still has his job. Is this jealousy or simple nincompoop anti-intellectualism? Whatever it is I like having a president who takes his wife up to Broadway.

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