Chris Matthews demanded Republicans be punished for their, as he put it on Tuesday's Hardball, opposition to "everything that tries to solve the country's problems." During a discussion about White House strategy, Game Change co-author John Heilemann suggested to the MSNBC host that Barack Obama should make "Republicans pay for their intransigence," which prompted Matthews to question how best to target Republicans -- specifically Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn --who "pompously" laugh at the President, while opposing, "everything that tries to solve the country's problems?"
The following exchange was aired on the February 2 edition of Hardball:
JOHN HEILEMANN, GAME CHANGE CO-AUTHOR: But I think there are two bigger things that, that they, that the White House has seen post-Massachusetts they need to do. One is they have to start winning the outside game again. They were too mired in the inside game, all this legislative process. They're getting him [Barack Obama] out of Washington. And number two they gotta make the Republicans pay for their intransigence. If they, if they continue just to let the Republicans just stonewall against them...
CHRIS MATTHEWS: And how do they do that? How do they make them pay? You say it your way. How do get a guy like Mitch McConnell who sits back there pompously laughing at him and, and John Cornyn and those guys, how do you make them pay for being against everything that tries to solve the country's problems?
HEILEMANN: I think he did a very nice job today when he pointed out the ways in which the, the Republicans who had signed on to the bipartisan commission to, to deal with the, the deficit issue how those people who signed on to it, suddenly, as soon as Obama endorsed it, how they all bailed out. He's got to call them on their hypocrisy.