Was That Romney You Were Condemning, Chris Matthews - or JFK?

Chris Matthews loathes Mitt Romney and reveres John F. Kennedy. Oddly enough, when Matthews vilifies Romney, you'd swear he was talking about Kennedy.

Matthews, author of the JFK hagiography "Elusive Hero," had this to say about Romney last night during MSNBC's coverage of the New Hampshire primary while jousting with former Granite State governor John Sununu  (video after page break) --

MATTHEWS: Do you actually think use of terms like, I feared pink slips, and I'm unemployed, another phrase he uses when he campaigns for office, is appropriate at a time we have about eight-plus, eight and a half percent unemployment? You think that's appropriate for a candidate to identify with the unemployed when at no time in his life has he feeled (sic), has he felt economic insecurity? He's the son of the head of a US auto company. I don't see that's relevant he's ever felt economically insecure. Has he?

SUNUNU: I think any time you go into a job and you're the last one there, you're worried about getting pink slipped.

MATTHEWS: Yeah, I know.

SUNUNU: I think the fact of the matter is is this is a guy who is (sic) truly done virtually every-, all his success is attributed to the hard work that he did and put in. This is a country in which somebody can start and have that kind of great success. And to bregrudge him now for having been successful I think is kind of anti-American, don't you?

MATTHEWS: No, I just wonder why a fella who's been to boarding school and has gone to elite universities and never had to sweat in his life, never had to worry in his life about putting a meal on the table, should go out there and offer himself as some sort of Uriah Heap. Is that fair?

Romney -- "the son of the head of a US auto company," Matthews points out, referring to George Romney, who grew up poor to become president of American Motors, governor of Michigan, GOP presidential candidate, and Cabinet member to Richard Nixon.

Kennedy -- son of Joseph Kennedy, Prohibition-era bootlegger, Wall Street financier (lowest form of life, Chris, remember?), Roosevelt's first appointment to the SEC ("It takes a thief to catch one," FDR told intimates) and notorious appeaser who thought the Nazis were just nifty.

Matthews derides Mitt Romney as "a fella who's been to boarding school" -- much like JFK, who went to Choate. Romney attended "elite universities," he complains. True enough -- Stanford, Brigham Young and Harvard. Kennedy -- Stanford, Princeton, London School of Economics and Harvard.

Romney has "never had to worry in his life about putting a meal on the table," Matthews fumes. Much like Kennedy -- as to be expected of a young man whose family was one of the richest in the nation as he came of age and remained so through Kennedy's entire life.

Matthews' double standard demonstrates an awkward truth about liberals. Contrary to widespread belief, they don't hate wealth. They only hate it when conservatives are wealthy.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts