Chris Matthews: Donald Sterling’s Racist Rant Akin to Mitt Romney’s ‘47 Percent Debacle’

Leave it to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to use the controversy surrounding Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling as the perfect opportunity to attack prominent Republicans. 

Appearing on his nightly Hardball program on Monday, April 28, Matthews claimed that Sterling’s racist comments was the “worst such case of verbal self-destruction since Mitt Romney`s 47 percent debacle.” [See video below.]

Matthews’ extreme comments came at the very beginning of his show, which were fairly tame until he decided to make an unnecessary and offensive comparison to Mitt Romney: 

Well, tonight we look at how and why this man, Donald Sterling, billionaire owner of the LA Clippers, got himself tape-recorded in the worst such case of verbal self-destruction since Mitt Romney`s 47 percent debacle, or going back further, to Richard Nixon. 

While Governor Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments were certainly inappropriate and misinformed, they are by no means comparable to the racist rants of Donald Sterling. Matthews’ comments came at the top of his broadcast when he reads from a script, meaning he made a conscious decision to write out and compare Mitt Romney's "47 percent" speech to the racist comments made by Sterling prior to going on air.  

The MSNBC host could have refrained from making a low-blow attack on the GOP and simply focus on the racist comments of Mr. Sterling. Instead, Matthews chose to employ the typical MSNBC tactic of smearing conservatives, this time by disgustingly aligning them with Donald Sterling’s racist rant. 

See relevant transcript below. 


MSNBC 

Hardball with Chris Matthews

April 28, 2014 

7:00 p.m. Eastern 

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: B-ball free fall. Let`s play Hardball. Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews up in New York and back from China. Let me start tonight with this explosive words being attributed to the owner of the LA Clippers. He didn`t want his girlfriend, he said, to be publicly associating with African-Americans, even while he made his living with a team filled with African-Americans and his girlfriend was herself a minority. It was all about usefulness, apparently.

The players made him money, the girlfriend was useful in other ways. If it were him on the tapes, and he doesn`t -- hasn`t denied it. What he had no use for were African-Americans who couldn`t play basketball at the NBA level, or not anymore, or offering him lovely, accommodating companionship. Well, tonight we look at how and why this man, Donald Sterling, billionaire owner of the LA Clippers, got himself tape-recorded in the worst such case of verbal self-destruction since Mitt Romney`s 47 percent debacle, or going back further, to Richard Nixon.

Let`s try to see this case for what it is but also where it fits into the history of race relations in this country, and more particularly, the world of comments people make that get recorded and rip the scab from what is increasingly, I think, a healthy attitude in this country, especially among the young. And if possible tonight, we can chart where this particular episode will take us. Is Donald Sterling dead as an NBA owner? Is he really?

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.