Matthews: GOP Did Nothing for Anybody the Last 10 to 20 Years

A few weeks after admitting being a liberal, MSNBC's Chris Matthews is now claiming the Republican Party has done absolutely nothing for the American people the last ten to twenty years.

On Wednesday's "Hardball," Matthews brought political strategists Todd Harris and Steve McMahon on to discuss what the imminent retirements of Sen Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) mean to the future of the Democrat Party and the upcoming midterm elections.

In an obvious effort to downplay the seriousness of these announcements, as well as President Obama's plummeting poll numbers, Matthews continually asked the Republican guest what the GOP has done for the American people in the past ten to twenty years (video embedded below the fold with transcript):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Let me ask you this. Suppose you`re a Republican. Suppose you`re a Democrat. You can do the Republican part, Todd. You got to go out there and tell people as you go and visit them at home in your Senate seat or your House district, and you got to say, Look, you`ve been paying me $180,000 a year for about 20 years now and I`ve been serving you, and here`s the results. Ten percent unemployment, a stock market which is wobbly -- we never know which way it`s going to go -- a national debt which has tripled. What else? Everything seems scary and zany. We have a trade deficit which is horrendous. Nothing seems to be working at the federal government level. Katrina was a disaster. We can`t seem to stop the terrorists from at least getting on our planes.

What do you brag about when you go home if you`re a politician now and say, Look what I did for you? What do you brag about if you are a Republican? What has the Republican Party done for anybody in the last 10 or 15 years? What have they done, the Republican Party, for the people?

Stop the tape!

As his first question concerning this matter was about the last ten to fifteen years, is Matthews oblivious to what the GOP did after it took back Congress in the 1994 midterm elections? 

Would the budget have been balanced in the latter part of the '90s without the Republicans controlling both chambers of Congress? Would the economy have expanded as much as it did without such fiscal restraint?

Sadly, like most liberals, Matthews is historically-challenged:

TODD HARRIS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, Chris, as you well know, voters don`t decide elections...

MATTHEWS: No, I`m asking you a question. What has the Republican Party done for the people in the last 10 or 20 years? What have they done?

HARRIS: Well, and I`m -- and I`m answering your question about how you would win an election in 2010, and it`s not about talking...

MATTHEWS: No...

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: ... question. What do you tell people you`ve done for them if you`re a Republican? You had a president who signed every single spending bill when the Republican Party was in power. You had Katrina, which was a disaster, Iraq, which most people think was dishonest and we shouldn`t be there, an Afghan war that won`t end. Well, we haven`t been hit since 9/11, but of course, 9/11 does count. What would you brag about if you were a politician right now?

Stop the tape!

Isn't it wonderful how liberals who have never met a spending bill they're opposed to point fingers at Republicans when they spend money. This seems especially hypocritical as the Democrat President Matthews gets tingles up his leg for is currently creating the biggest budget deficits in history: 

HARRIS: Well, first of all, the Bush administration kept the country safe. But I want to say...

MATTHEWS: Well, except for one big day.

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: Hold on -- hold on a minute. Hold on a minute. Part of the problem that Democrats have is that they are so obsessed with continuing to attack the Bush administration -- you guys are so obsessed with trying to get your pound of flesh that you`re ignoring the real concerns that voters have in 2010. I hope to God that people on the left continue to try to go after President Bush and his record for the next 11 months because Republicans are going to be talking about being a real check and balance on the runaway spending that`s going on in Washington right now. Democrats can...

MATTHEWS: When did that start?

HARRIS: ... reprosecute...

MATTHEWS: When did they start being a check and balance?

STEVE MCMAHON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: There`s no -- there`s no balance, Todd. There`s no balance. There`s just a check -- saying, No, no thanks, not right now, not so fast, not until...

HARRIS: Yes, saying no to a trillion-dollar health care...

(CROSSTALK)

MCMAHON: Todd, that`s not -- that`s not a program for success. And frankly, this isn`t a Democratic problem, this, as you point out correctly, is an incumbent problem. And the fact that you`re sitting there in Florida today on Marco Rubio`s campaign, which you`re doing a great job on, demonstrates the point. Charlie Crist was unbeatable in the Republican primary, unbeatable in the general election, and now he`s got incumbent- itis. He`s a Republican. He`s not a Democrat. The problem is not a Democratic problem, it`s an incumbent problem. Tell me that`s not true, Todd, Marco Rubio`s consultant.

HARRIS: Well, no, you are partially true, but the reason why Charlie Crist is having problems in Florida...

MATTHEWS: He`s the governor of Florida...

HARRIS: ... among Republican primary voters...

MATTHEWS: ... and he`s perceived as the worst thing you can be right now, a moderate, right?

(CROSSTALK)

HARRIS: The reason he`s having problems is because he`s not able to say credibly to Republicans that he could go to Washington and be a check and a balance on the Obama administration. Marco Rubio can make a very credible argument to Florida voters...

MCMAHON: Based on? Based on?

HARRIS: Based on his core beliefs. So when Charlie Crist stood next to Barack Obama and embraced, literally and figuratively, the stimulus package, that was a signal to Florida Republicans that he is not someone who`s going to go and take on Nancy Pelosi, take on Harry Reid...

MCMAHON: No, Todd...

HARRIS: ... and take on Barack Obama in Washington.

MCMAHON: That was a signal to moderate Republicans in Florida that he cared more about his state than he cares abut saying, No...

MATTHEWS: OK...

MCMAHON: ... saying, No thanks, not right now. And that`s the problem Republicans have right now.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I just wanted to get the Republican bragging points straight here. So the Republican Party has kept us safe, except for 9/11. Is that the argument? No, really, because you had the worst attack on the American homeland in history, but you`re bragging about your ability to defend the country because you say -- you defended America, except for 9/11. That`s your defense, right?

Stop the tape!

Isn't it a good thing there weren't any followup attacks on our nation after 9/11? Isn't that indeed an accomplishment by the previous President and his Party? Isn't this also a rather silly question given what happened at Fort Hood a few months ago and on a Northwest Airlines plane on Christmas Day?

HARRIS: Look, Chris...

MATTHEWS: That`s the bragging point of the Republican Party for the last -- I asked you to name one thing they`ve done for this country in 15 to 20 years. I`ll keep going back further. And you`re having a hard time giving me an answer. What has the Republican Party...

HARRIS: No, no. I`m...

MATTHEWS: ... done for the country?

HARRIS: I`m not...

MATTHEWS: I`m just -- it`s a good question.

HARRIS: Chris, I`m not having...

MCMAHON: Squandered the surplus.

HARRIS: ... a hard time giving you an answer.

MCMAHON: Don`t forget, squandered the surplus.

HARRIS: When I decide to write a book about the history of the last 20 years of the Republican Party, I`ll be happy to talk to you about that.

MATTHEWS: No, just give me one...

HARRIS: My job is to win elections -- my job is to...

MATTHEWS: Just give me one.

HARRIS: ... win elections in 2010.

MATTHEWS: OK.

HARRIS: And I`m going to keep my eye on the ball.

MCMAHON: He doesn`t have one. He doesn`t have one!

MATTHEWS: Steve McMahon -- Steve McMahon, YouTube is watching. You`re the Republican consultant, one of the best in the country. Tell me what the Republican Party has done for this country in the last 10 to 20 years? Thank you, Steve McMahon.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Thank you, Todd Harris. You got plenty of time, `64 -- we`ll have you back with the answer.

In the end, it is of course by no means surprising that liberals like Matthews who are looking towards huge Democrat losses this November would be doing everything in their power to minimize the damage.

Such behavior is guaranteed to make the next ten months a target-rich environment for conservatives.

Stay tuned.

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