Chris Matthews and Chuck Todd tag-teamed against Alaskan Republican Senate nominee Joe Miller, on Thursday's Hardball, as Todd claimed Miller was "running a terrible campaign" and warned that "it may be popular among conservatives to bash the media" but Miller is "turning off" voters when he does it. For his part Matthews called Miller "unlikable" going as far to compare him to the negative depiction of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the movie "The Social Network" as Matthews pined: "He seems about as likable as that guy...Joe Miller seems like that guy." Of the Tea Party conservative Matthews also added: "He seems like a misanthrope," and predicted: "I don't think people are gonna like this guy." (video included)
The following exchange was aired on the October 14 edition of Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Go to Alaska, you brought that up a minute ago.
CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Yeah.
MATTHEWS: Could a Democrat be elected Senator from Alaska against two Republicans?
TODD: Well here's what's going on there. It's anecdotal evidence, but in the Anchorage, in the business community out in Anchorage, okay, that we're, think of them as the sort of the Ted Stevens coalition, okay, the late Ted Stevens. The people that want to do business in Alaska and they sit there and they say, "We don't think Joe Miller is a guy that understands how to get federal money back to Alaska. How the, how everything works. They're very nervous about him. They prefer Murkowski, but they're not convinced that this write-in campaign can work and so you see McAdams benefitting from a pretty amazing fundraising quarter for Alaska. He's getting real money now and there is a bet hedge. And you have conversations going on in Alaska - circles talking about this idea of what to do. The preference is Murkowski, but if she can't win, then their, their second choice is McAdams.
MATTHEWS: Wow. Chris, go ahead.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Chris just really quickly, just very quickly on that race, I agree, as I always do with e
verything Chuck said. One thing to add. Polling in that race is incredibly difficult because-
CILLIZZA: -because you have Miller who is the Republican nominee, McAdams who is the Democratic nominee. Both of them are gonna be on the ballot, right? Murkowski, you're gonna have to write her name in. Polling usually says "Would you vote for Miller, McAdams or Murkowski?" That doesn't exactly-
TODD: Exist. Right.
CILLIZZA: -equate to what the poll, what the experience will be in the ballot box. So it's really hard to know. Is she really at 32 or 33, and right in this race or is that only when people are prompted with her name is she at that? And, and, point of fact, on the day of election, she drops way down because people don't remember to write people in. I mean there's a reason that no senator has been elected as a write-in candidate since Strom Thurmond in 1954. Not saying she doesn't have a chance. It's just hard to know.
TODD: The bigger issue is Joe Miller is running a terrible campaign. He had this weird presser earlier this week. He said "I'm not gonna answer anymore questions about my background!" And I'll tell ya this. You know, look it may be popular, among conservatives, to bash the media. It's an easy thing to do, but you know what? That does turn off a lot of voters because it looks like -what are you hiding? What's the big deal? Stand up, look a little stronger.
MATTHEWS: Yeah he seems about as, he seems about as likable as that, that guy in the Social Network. I just saw the movie last night. Joe Miller seems like that guy.
CILLIZZA: The [Mark] Zuckerberg comparison!
TODD: Wow! Interesting.
MATTHEWS: He seems like a misanthrope. He seems a little misanthropic to me. I don't think people are gonna like this guy. He's been described as an unlikable - well we'll see. I leave it to the voters, obviously. I think that race is wide open.