Chris Matthews Brushes Off Trump's Illegal Hires, Focuses on Opponents

On a special post-GOP debate edition of Hardball Thursday night Chris Matthews turned up the spin to brush the dirt off of Donald Trump. “I thought the funniest line tonight was when Rubio was doing his upper cuts … He said ‘you hired illegal immigrants,’ people without documentation and trump says ‘you've never hired anybody.’"

Matthews was referring to an incident during the debate where Marco Rubio reminded Trump that a lawsuit that was filed against him. The lawsuit in question apparently involved a large sums of money and Trump’s hiring of illegal Polish immigrants for one of his projects in New York City 36 years ago.

In a campaign season defined by heated debates about illegal immigration, border walls, and deportations Matthews found that Trump’s transgressions were not as big of an issue was Trump’s rebuttal was. He instead chose to focus on the records of Trump opponents Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

I'm sorry that still is Trump's trump card and it is, that he's built and these other guys are junior debaters who have just come in the Senate. They've done nothing in their lives except learn how to debate on television basically.” Matthews jabbed. “He debates on television almost or equal in most cases or sometimes better, and he's actually had a career building stuff. 

It’s interesting that a political junkie like Matthews could call Cruz, who has argued in front of the Supreme Court and won, a “junior debater.” Matthews gushed that Trump had a “tangible foundation” for his campaign.

Fawning over the buildings Trump has built, he insinuated that Trump was a better kind of billionaire and one who didn’t “make money from money.” “Henry Ford built cars! Thomas Edison built lightbulbs! At least there is a reason-- Society got something from their wealth in exchange.

It can be argued that how those buildings were built is worth reporting too. After the debate, the left-leaning website PolitiFact dug into Rubio’s claims. They found that Trump’s contractor had hired 200 illegal Polish immigrants, nicknamed the “Polish Brigade,” to help tear down the build were Trump Tower stands now.

“The Polish employees were off-the-books, working 12-hour shifts seven days a week for $4 to $5 an hour, with no overtime. Some workers were never paid what they were owed,” PolitiFact found. After a drawn out process that lasted over a decade, Trump settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. 

Partial Transcript below:

MSNBC
Hardball with Chris Matthews
February 25, 2016
11:26:23 – 11:27:45

CHRIS MATTHEWS:  Michael [Steele], I want to start with you on this. I thought the funniest line tonight was when Rubio was doing his upper cuts and his body—what do they call them, cross? I'm trying to remember all my boxing terms. He was -- He said “you hired illegal immigrants,” people without documentation and trump says “you've never hired anybody.” 

I'm sorry that still is Trump's trump card and it is, that he's built and these other guys are junior debaters who have just come in the Senate. They've done nothing in their lives except learn how to debate on television basically. He debates on television almost or equal in most cases or sometimes better, and he's actually had a career building stuff. 

I'm sorry it's the trump card that they can't match, because I keep asking them have you guys ever -- I was with Bernie Sanders tonight, did you ever pass anything with 60 votes? Did you ever do anything like you're promising to do ever in your life? Did you ever get three votes? Can you get Chuck Schumer? Can you get one vote? 

These guys -- all Cruz has ever done is try to shut the government down and say no. He's never produced a majority for anything! Anything! He's the guy, the governor, couldn't name anything. You know. So, I think it's a problem. When you say you’re going to-- Hughie Carey ran for Governor of New York back in ’74 and he was very good. In fact, Gorge Willard, a Republican, said he’s the best governor New York has had. And his campaign slogan was “before somebody tells you what they're going do, first ask them what they've done” and I still think that's the best question in politics. 

MATTHEWS: Jonathan Capehart, isn't that his foundation to everything he says, “I’m not just some brilliant guy that knows how to argue about make American great. I didn’t just come up with a slogan.”  There’s something. There's a foundation, literally a tangible foundation they go out and “yeah he's put these buildings up and yeah he’s rich.”

And he's not some guy who made money off of money, which nobody likes.  We all like to have our retirement money add up, you know, reinvested. Everybody like somebody-- Go find somebody who can make money off your money, but people don't like people who make billions of dollars off of money. They like people that have built—

Henry Ford built cars! Thomas Edison built lightbulbs! At least there is a reason-- Society got something from their wealth in exchange.

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro