Dick Armey Rips Rachel Maddow At Tuesday's Anti-Obamacare Rally

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey absolutely ripped Rachel Maddow at Tuesday's anti-healthcare reform rally in Washington, D.C.

Speaking to hundreds of protesters, Armey lambasted the MSNBC host -- who he incorrectly referred to as "Maddox" -- for having the nerve to lecture Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla) about healthcare.

Armey was clearly referring to August 16's "Meet the Press" when, as NewsBusters reported, Maddow's behavior in a panel discussion that included Armey and Coburn was absolutely atrocious.

For her part, Maddow chose to defend herself on her show Tuesday by misrepresenting the truth (video that includes Armey's comments embedded below the fold with full transcript):

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: And finally, at today`s big anti-health reform rally in Washington, former Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey gave a pep talk to the crowd as he introduced featured guest speaker, Sen. Tom Coburn. And then, things got really weird and my personal Blackberry started having a connection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. REP. DICK ARMEY (R-TX), FORMER UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MAJORITY LEADER: I can`t pass up my moment with Doc Coburn, because the last time Doc Coburn, the senator from Oklahoma, who is practicing medicine all his life.

The last time he and I were together, I had the amazing opportunity to watch him receive a lecture on healthcare from a woman name Maddox (sic), a television personality, who I`m told has a PhD in something that doesn`t matter.

Who knew she was qualified to lecture the good physician on healthcare in America because she had actually gone to a doctor once? So when Doc Coburn gets here, you ought to appreciate the fact that he had the strength to stand up to this world renowned expert on health care.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: Yay, I`m famous! For the record, I think what Mr. Armey was talking about, is when he, Sen. Coburn and I were on "Meet the Press" together.

When I heard that today, I did not remember ever lecturing Sen. Coburn on anything. But I went back and watched the tape of that appearance again and it turns out that there was only really one back-and- forth between me and Sen. Coburn in that whole show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID GREGORY, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": This image this week outside of Portsmouth, New Hampshire town hall even that the president had. This man with a gun strapped to his leg held that sign, "Is time to water the tree of liberty." When this element comes out in larger numbers because of this debate, what troubles you about that?

SEN. TOM COBURN (R-OK): Well, I`m troubled any time when we stop having confidence in our government. But we`ve earned it.

MADDOW (on camera): I take issue with the idea that the government has done anything to earn the kind of threats of violence that we have seen.

COBURN: I didn`t say we have.

MADDOW: Well, you -

(CROSSTALK)

COBURN: Well, what I said it is indicative of the loss of confidence. And when people are afraid, they do all sorts of things that they normally wouldn`t do.

MADDOW: I don`t think -

COBURN: And we have undermined, by our actions, whether it be earmarking and corruption and disconnection between integrity and character and what we do, and what the people expect. And these are just symptoms of a lack of confidence in what we`ve done.

MADDOW: Whether or not the government has acted in a way that you feel is defensible, I don`t think the government has done anything to earn, in your words, the threat that the blood of tyrants must run in the street, which is what the literal threat was from that man with the gun strapped to his leg in New Hampshire. I don`t think the government has done anything to earn that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW: That was my only exchange with Tom Coburn in front of Dick Armey. Now, if Mr. Armey thinks that I was not qualified to be in that discussion because Senator Coburn is a gynecologist and I`m not, I wonder why Dick Armey thought he was qualified to be in that room.

Actually, that was not the only exchange between Coburn and Maddow that Sunday. Here's another one:

COBURN: We, we talk about neonatal mortality. Where's the neonatal mortality? It's not in the private insurance plans, it's in Medicaid. Well, here's the government-run program that is failing us in terms of neonatal mortality, and yet we use as an indicator neonatal mortality to say we need more government rather than less.

MADDOW: That is so disingenuous, that's unbelievable.

So, an obstetrician that has delivered 4,000 babies was speaking about neonatal mortality, and Maddow basically called him a liar.

I'd say that qualifies as Maddow lecturing him about healthcare, wouldn't you? 

Nice job of defending yourself, Rach!

Exit question: was it disingenuous of Maddow NOT to include that exchange in her program Tuesday evening?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.