[April 2 update post: See which quotes were real and which were fake]
The latest edition of MRC's Notable Quotables newsletter (PDF) has just been posted over at MRC.org, a special "Matthews Mega-Meltdown Edition." In this issue: our favorite MSNBC host drools over the “perfect” Barack Obama, hailing the “amazing economy” Obama has delivered to America and lobbying for the new Pope Francis to bring an Obama-esque “hope and change” regime to the Catholic Church.
At the same time, Chris decries the “racism” of opposing anything Obama proposes; wonders if Republicans will switch to “sexism” if Hillary Clinton becomes the top Democrat in 2016; and sees an anti-Michele Bachmann message in Robert Frost’s poem, “The Witch of Coos.” Oh, and Chris insists: “Hardball is absolutely non-partisan.” You can read highlights after the jump; the whole package of 21 outrageous quotes is at www.MRC.org.
Gushing Over the "Perfect" Barack Obama
"I look at Obama as a perfect American....The guy went to school, he never broke a law. He did everything right. He raised a wonderful family. He's a good husband, a good father. My God, I don't think he's ever gotten a speeding ticket. The guy does everything right and these right-wingers....I don't know what they're so afraid of, except that he happens to be black."
— Chris Matthews on Hardball, April 1.
"Barack Obama continues to be a perfect hero for America's school children. Who can forget that cute picture of the President pretending to be caught in a little Spiderman's web? That seemed a little backward, since Obama often seems as slick and heroic as Spiderman, while his opponents like Rush Limbaugh resemble Kingpin, the fat supervillain with a walking stick and a cigar, who thinks he can win the day by manipulating the haters."
— Matthews later in the same show.
"The thing people don't understand about Barack Obama is that while he's a great speaker, his understanding of politics is just unprecedented in the whole history of this American experience. He's like Albert Einstein with a 500-watt smile that can melt the hardest heart."
— Chris Matthews during a panel discussion on the April 1 edition of MSNBC's Now with Alex Wagner.
Obama Gets Credit for Today's "Amazing Economy"
"Coming up, when is President Obama going to get some credit — and this is like Rodney Dangerfield — when's he going to get some credit for this amazing economy that's coming back?...It really is amazing. And the stock market for the rich is going through the roof. When's this guy going to get some respect?"
— Matthews teasing an upcoming segment on Hardball, April 1.
Yearning for a "Hope and Change" Pope
"Pope Francis — as appealing as he is, he really should rip a page out of the playbook of another world leader, President Obama. Our President evolved on gay marriage. Francis can be the ‘hope and change' pontiff if he throws his support behind contraception."
— Matthews on MSNBC's Morning Joe, April 1, talking about the Catholic Church's teachings on birth control.
Obama vs. The GOP's Racist Haters
"[Republicans] hate Obama. They want him out of the White House more than they want to destroy al Qaeda. Their number one enemy in the world right now, on the right, is their hatred — hatred for Obama."
— MSNBC host Chris Matthews on NBC's Today, April 1.
"What does your study tell you about the nature of the racial piece here of the Tea Party?...Is it sort of a resumption of the Old South, of the way things were before the Civil War for example. Is it like that old dreamy nostalgia you get in the old movies, Gone With the Wind? Is it that kind of America they want to bring back or what? When there were no gays, where blacks were slaves, Mexicans were in Mexico. I mean, is this what they want?"
— Matthews on Hardball, April 1.
Preparing the Anti-GOP Smears in Case Hillary Runs
Host Chris Matthews: "We've seen Republicans — since this President was elected in 2008, we've seen Republicans come out, one after another, almost like robots, machine-like, coming out against health care, against the EPA, against clean air, against reasonable gun control, tax simplification — all based purely on ethnic prejudice — racism — against this President, this African American President. Are we going to see a similar pivot to gender prejudice — sexism — among Republicans if Hillary Clinton emerges as the Democratic nominee? Will they be just as opposed to anything sensible she proposes, just to prevent the image of a successful woman President?"
The Huffington Post's Howard Fineman: "I think there's no question, Chris...."
— MSNBC's Hardball, April 1.
Crazy Republicans Acting Like Cambodian Butchers
"What's going on out there in the Republican Party is kind of a frightening, almost Cambodia re-education camp going on in that party, where they're going around to people, sort of switching their minds around saying, if you're not far right, you're not right enough."
— Matthews on MSNBC's Martin Bashir, April 1.
Matthews to Ryan: Don't Pull My Plug!
"These crazies on the right keep talking about defunding ObamaCare to balance the budget. Where is the compassion for the elderly? What is wrong with them Joan? I'm 67 years old! Am I going to have to hire extra security some day, maybe, to keep Paul Ryan from sneaking into my hospital room and pinching the air hose of my oxygen tank?!"
— Chris Matthews talking to Salon.com's Joan Walsh on MSNBC's Hardball, April 1.
Even the Tea Party's TV Habits Are Racist
"Professor Rob Thompson of Syracuse University has cataloged the TV habits of the extreme conservatives, the haters. He found that they don't like Modern Family. Too many gays and other examples of reality, I guess....What are they longing for? The return of Archie Bunker?...Get this: They love the AMC zombie show The Walking Dead. Ha! I'm telling you, this is a racial thing. They see the black vote and the rising influence of Hispanics as some sort of foreign, unnatural threat. Shooting zombies in the face, suppressing the black vote at the polls. It's all the same to these people."
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC's The Cycle, April 1.
Sneering at Witchy Michele Bachmann
"With me now is Caroline Kennedy to discuss her new book of poems she loves. You know, Caroline, we all remember the poet Robert Frost reciting one of his best works at your father's inauguration of 1961. It was a signal to the country that we had arrived at a new frontier of intellect. Tell me, when you think of Frost's poem ‘The Witch of Coos,' do you often think of Michele Bachmann?"
— Chris Matthews on Hardball, April 1.
Getting Thrills Over Prospect of Senator Judd
"Back to Hardball now, the Sideshow: Actress Ashley Judd has pulled herself out of that Kentucky Senate race. What a loss for the nation. She's every bit as qualified as Ronald Reagan ever was — an actor the far right still salivates over. I'll never get that idolization. Really. Anyway, if a glorified eyeglasses hawker like Rand Paul with hair as bad as Donald Trump's can win in Kentucky, why can't that state give us a Senator it would be nice to look at? She gives me more tingles than even Barack Obama, and that's saying something. Ha!"
— Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball, April 1
Perhaps the Craziest Thing He's Ever Said
"Hardball is absolutely non-partisan."
— Chris Matthews in an interview with local Washington, D.C. host Carol Joynt, April 1.
April Fools! Chris Matthews is so wacky, however, he's nearly impossible to parody, so some of these are real. Of the 21 quotes, we made up thirteen of them; eight he actually said. Can you figure out which are real and which are fake? On Tuesday, we'll post the answer key.