MSNBCers Upset at 'Bar Bouncing' Boehner's 'Ugly Imagery'

Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s convention speech, in which he compared removing an obnoxious bar customer to throwing the current president out of office, threw the MSNBC crew went into a tizzy. On Tuesday night’s live coverage of the Republican National Convention, an incensed Lawrence O’Donnell railed against Boehner’s “ugly imagery of grabbing this president, throwing him out physically.” Ed Schultz thought it was “embarrassing”  that he couldn’t believe that on the first night of their convention Republicans were “talking about bar bouncing.” (video after the jump)

The following exchange was aired on MSNBC’s August 28 live coverage of the GOP convention: 

For context, here is a brief excerpt of the Boehner’s speech that riled up the MSNBC cast, followed by reactions from O’Donnell and Schultz:


REP. JOHN BOEHNER: You know, I'm what you'd call a regular guy with a big job. I've got 11 brothers and sisters and my dad and my uncles owned a bar in Cincinnati. I worked there growing up, mopping floors, waiting tables, tending bar. So believe me when I say I learned how to deal with every character who walked in the door.

So let's say, right now, some guy walked into our bar, full of guys looking for work, having a tough go of it and the guy said, "Well the private sector is doing fine." Well you know what we'd do? That's right, we'd throw him out! Think about this. A guy walked into our bar full of people paying more for health care, paying more for gas, paying more for everything and this guy would say, "Well we're better off than what we would've been." Well you know what we would do? We'd throw him out! Now if a guy walked into our bar full of folks who couldn't tell you the last time they got a raise or their house was above water and the guy said, "Well we tried our economic program and it worked." You know what we'd do? We'd throw him out! Now let's say a guy walked into our bar and before he could say anything he overhead a regular telling his story. Turns out this guy ran a small business, got involved in it while he was in school, then out of nowhere his business partner died. They had just one customer. So he fought like hell through sleepless nights and close calls and they made it. Thank God. Paid their dues, proud of what they've managed to do. Now if a guy walked into a bar and heard that story and he said, "Well if you've got a business, you didn't build that!" Well you know what we'd do with him, don't ya? We'd throw him out!
...

[7:21pm]

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: You know the [John] Boehner speech I thought was, was particularly strange. To get the point of using bar room analogy. "We're gonna throw him out." There's an ugly, physical imagery to this. And it's something that the Republican speech writers - You know these speeches are all written over there, under the supervision of Romney World. And they have the, the, the most insensitive approach to everything. The, the physical imagery they were conjuring up-

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Yeah!

O'DONNELL: -of this man in the Oval Office being grabbed by the collar and literally thrown out into a street. That is the image that he tried to get that hall to just cheer along to. Luckily he was speaking earlier enough in the night that - you know what it's like in those halls? They're completely ignoring everybody at that podium now, until they get to primetime. And I'm glad that, that speech wasn't featured in a way that he could really get the crowd rabble-roused over that. Very ugly imagery of grabbing this president, throwing him out physically.

 

 




ED SCHULTZ: It's the speech of a bar bouncer but it's also the speech that you would talk to somebody who was coming into your bar. And there is this regular guy theme that the Republicans are trying to connect with. Mitt Romney has had a hard time connecting with the middle-class. He's had a hard time being a regular guy on the campaign trail. So they gotta let these disenfranchised, disaffected lunch bucket Democrats know: "Hey we're regular guys! You know and you know I know you've been in a bar before after work and you saw some guy get thrown out. You know that's kind of the way we think, really is where we are." It is window dressing of - it's fakery, is what it is. That's not who they are. They can't play that role and anybody with a half a brain can see exactly what they're doing. It, it's, it's almost embarrassing that the Republican Party, their first night of primetime coverage, they're talking about bar bouncing! They can't come up with anything better than that?! 

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