An angry Chris Matthews sharply denounced President Obama's performance in the presidential debate tonight, implying his knowledge of the facts was "first grade." Matthews also urged Obama to tune in to MSNBC so he could learn a thing or two from the supposedly non-partisan hosts and guests on the channel.
"I don't know what he was doing out there," the normally effusively pro-Obama former Democratic operative raged. "I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight." Video and transcript below the fold.
Matthews went on at length castigating Obama for failing to viciously attack Romney the way that he and his fellow far-left hosts on MSNBC do every night. "We have our knives out," Matthews said. "Obama should watch MSNBC, my last point. He will learn something every night on this show and all these shows. This stuff we're watching, it's like first grade for most of us. We know all this stuff."
The mask finally came off tonight. MSNBC has long ago stopped being a legitimate news channel. Tonight, Chris Matthews admitted what everyone has known for a long time. No Fox News Channel host would ever say something so directly partisan and obviously in favor of one candidate.
Video and transcript follow:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Tonight wasn't an MSNBC debate, was it? It just wasn't. It didn't mention all the key fighting points of this campaign. [...] I don't know what he was doing out there, he had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it.
Romney on the other hand, came in with a campaign, he had a plan. He was going to dominate the time, he was going to be aggressive. He was going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively. He was going to relish the evening, enjoying it. Nothing to do with the words he spoke.
Here's my question for Obama. I know he says he doesn't watch cable television but maybe he should start. Maybe he should start. I don't know how he let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight--about Social Security.
Listen to the stuff he got away with. He said, you know, emergency room--the latest thing we got from Romney because he said so was you know what I want to do with people when they're poor? Shove them in the emergency room. Why didn't Obama say that? Why didn't he say that?
You talk about Social Security and Medicare people, they're part of your 47 percent, you want to drop them from the list of eligible Americans. You don't have any care for these people. What are you talking about? We've got it on tape, Governor! We've got it on tape what you think of these people! Don't come out here and pretend you care about old people because you met somebody at some campaign event, you've written off 47 percent of the country before you even started!
Where was Obama tonight?! He should watch, well not just Hardball, Rachel [Maddow], he should watch you, he should watch the Reverend Al [Sharpton], he should watch Lawrence [O'Donnell]. He would learn something about this debate.
There's a hot debate going on in this country and you know where it's being held? Here on this network is where we're having this debate. We have our knives out, we go after the people on the facts, what was he doing tonight?! He went in there disarmed, he was like, 'oh wait, an hour and a half, I think I can get through this thing and I don't even look at this guy.'
Whereas Romney -- I love the split-screen -- staring at Obama, addressing him like prey. He did it just right. 'I'm coming at an incumbent. I got to beat him. You've got to beat the champ and I'm going to beat him tonight. And I don't care what this guy, the moderator, whatever he thinks he is because I'm going to ignore him.'
What was Romney doing? He was winning. [...] If he does five more of these nights, forget it. [...]
Obama should watch MSNBC, my last point. He will learn something every night on this show and all these shows. This stuff we're watching, it's like first grade for most of us. We know all this stuff.
Matthews's co-host Ed Schultz also agreed the president had done poorly, stating that he believed Obama had "created a big problem for himself tonight. I don't think he explained himself very well. I thought he was off his game. I was absolutely stunned tonight."