Matthews Accuses Hillary of 'Pimping' Campaign

Mack Daddy Hillary?

Not once but twice, Chris Matthews today accused Hillary Clinton of "pimping" for having staged a fundraiser that brought together high-rolling homeland-security lobbyists and the congressmen with power over their pet interests.

Matthews leveled the charge on this afternoon's "Hardball" in the course of an interview with David Bonior, John Edwards's campaign manager. The Edwards campaign, in an email from campaign advisor Joe Trippi, has swiped hard at Hillary over the fundraiser, calling it "corrupt."

View video here.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Is it kosher to have a meeting set up where you bring a bunch of lobbyists who sell equipment to the federal governmen, vendors, people who want money from the till, with policy-makers, lawmakers from various committees, set 'em all together, give 'em some food and booze, and say "why don't you guys get together, and by the way, give me money, in my campaign, for this little match-making -- some might say pimping?"

Matthews later dropped the "some might say" fig leaf and spoke for himself.

MATTHEWS: Is this corrupt, what Hillary Clinton's doing, holding fundraisers with lobbyists, pimping them basically, saying "if you give money to me, you lobbyists, I'll sit you down to lunch with Members of Congress, chairmen of committees, and they'll sit down with you and you'll get to be friends with each other. But give me the money first and I'll set up those deals, those lunches." Is that corrupt, that practice?

Bonior was only too happy to agree.

DAVID BONIOR: That's a bad, corrupt practice.

ASIDE: Matthews twice scolded Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee for blowing off her agreed-upon appearance on the show. Lee is a national co-chair of Hillary's campaign and Matthews surmised she decided not to appear because she had attended the lobbyist fundraiser in question. Was the misspelling of her name [see screencap] just a typo -- or a producer's little revenge?

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.