Last year, MSNBC and other so-called "news" outlets mercilessly attacked Kentucky Senatorial candidate Rand Paul for giving an honest libertarian answer to Rachel Maddow concerning the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
On Friday's "Hardball," Chris Matthews tried the same tactic on Paul's father Ron, but the elder Texas Congressman was ready for the question and ended up making the host look rather silly for asking it (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: Let me ask you. The `64 civil rights bill --
REPRESENTATIVE RON PAUL (R-TEXAS): Total -- total --
MATTHEWS: The `64 civil rights bill, do you think an employer, a guy who runs his shop down in Texas or anywhere has a right to say, if you`re black, you don`t come in my store?
Readers are reminded that last May, Matthews' colleague Rachel Maddow asked a similar question during her interview with Paul's son Rand. When he gave an honest, libertarian answer, the media pounced on him as a racist.
This of course included MSNBC which did segment after segment attacking Rand leading him to tell a Louisville radio station, "I need to be very careful about going on certain networks that seem to have a bias."
Clearly aware of what this pathetic excuse for a "news" network did to his son last year, Ron was ready, willing, and able to parry the blow:
PAUL: Well, I believe --
MATTHEWS: That was the right under -- that was the libertarian right before `64. Was it the better society?
PAUL: I believe -- I believe that property rights should be protected.
Your -- your right to be on TV is protected by property rights, because somebody owns that station. I can`t walk into your station. So, right of freedom of speech is protected by property. The right of your church is protected by property.
So, people should honor and protect it. This gimmick, Chris, it`s just -- it`s off the wall when you, I`m for property rights and states` rights; therefore, I`m a racist. I mean, that`s just outlandish.
MATTHEWS: No. I`m just asking you --
PAUL: Wait. Wait, Chris. Wait, Chris.
People who -- let`s say that law was there, and you could do that. Who`s going to do it? What idiot would do that? What idiot would do that?
MATTHEWS: Everybody was in the South. I saw the white -- I saw the "white only" signs driving through the South in college. Of course they did it. You remember them doing it.
PAUL: Oh, yes, yes. Yes, but I also know that the Jim Crow laws were illegal, and we got rid of them under that same law. And that`s all good.
MATTHEWS: Right. Well, you would have voted against that law.
PAUL: Pardon me?
MATTHEWS: You would have voted against that law. You wouldn`t have voted for the `64 civil rights bill.
PAUL: Yes, but not in -- I wouldn`t vote against getting rid of the Jim Crow laws.
See where this is going?
As NewsBusters has been reporting for months, MSNBC's goal is to make every Republican presidential candidate look racist.
With 9 percent unemployment, $4 gasoline, rising food costs and plummeting housing prices, Barack Obama's cheerleaders know they're going to have to get the public's attention off the economy for him to get reelected.
The answer: make every contender a racist, and the man that gets a thrill up his leg at the mere mention of the name "Obama" is more than willing to do his part:
MATTHEWS: But you would have voted for the -- you know you -- oh, come on. Honestly, Congressman, you were not for the `64 civil rights bill.
PAUL: Because -- because of the property rights element, not because it got rid of the Jim Crow law.
MATTHEWS: Right. The guy who owns a bar says, no blacks allowed, you say that`s fine.
PAUL: No, Chris, you`re demagoguing it now. You know that isn`t what I`m saying.
MATTHEWS: No, I`m asking a question.
MATTHEWS: Well, what`s the answer? What`s your answer?
PAUL: You know, segregation was created by government laws. Slavery was created by government laws. Segregation --
PAUL: Let me go.
Let me -- segregation in the military by government laws. So, what we want to do, as libertarians, is repeal all of those laws and honor and respect people with --
MATTHEWS: OK. Look, I have seen this.
PAUL: But for you to imply -- for you to imply that a property rights` person is endorsing that stuff, you don`t understand that there would be zero signs up today saying something like that.
And, if they did, they would be an idiot and they would out of business. So, I think you`re just getting overboard in order to try to turn it around and --
MATTHEWS: No, I`m not. I`m asking it. I`m talking about facts.
PAUL: -- try to accuse somebody of being a racist.
MATTHEWS: I`m not calling anybody a racist. I`m saying the laws are racist.
PAUL: Yes. That`s what you`re implying. That`s what you`re implying, Chris.
MATTHEWS: I once knew a laundromat when I was in the Peace Corps training in Louisiana, in Baker, Louisiana. A laundromat had this sign on it in glaze, "whites only" on the laundromat, just to use the laundromat machines.
This was a local shop saying no blacks allowed. You say that should be legal.
PAUL: That`s -- that`s ancient history. That`s ancient history. That`s over and done with.
MATTHEWS: Because it`s been outlawed.
PAUL: Segregation on buses and all was done by law. So it was a culture. That`s over and done with, Chris.
Why do you want to go back to ancient days and ancient history? It`s past.
MATTHEWS: Because you want to come back --
PAUL: It`s past. And nobody is advocating it.
MATTHEWS: You`re running for president -- because you`re running for president as a libertarian. Believe me, we don`t need laws to protect people.
PAUL: Well, look, you are concocting and you`re reading much more into it, and you`re trying to imply certain beliefs that I don`t have. And I think you`re wrong. I think you`re wrong.
MATTHEWS: No. I think you`re a libertarian. I think you`re a total libertarian. I think you`re a total libertarian. I think that is what is appealing about you. And I think people like you.
PAUL: And you`re doing it deliberately.
MATTHEWS: You know why they like you? They want to live in a simpler society.
PAUL: The comparison to being a total libertarian is believing in liberty vs. being a totalitarian.
PAUL: So, if you want the opposite, just look around. That`s what we have. We have a totalitarian world. That`s what most of history has been about, totalitarianism, dictatorship.
MATTHEWS: I know.
PAUL: We have only had a small taste of freedom of choice and the principle of private property --
PAUL: -- and contract rights. And we`re blowing it.
PAUL: So, this -- this whole thing that we`re going to give up on that, what we`re doing is trying to emphasize that something good and wonderful comes from freedom --
MATTHEWS: Right. OK.
PAUL: -- and freedom of choice, and that we should not say this, that -- that liberty is disgusting, as you imply, and totalitarian should be the way we run our country.
MATTHEWS: No, I`m not. I`m asking -- you`re answering your own questions.
PAUL: I think that`s absurd.
I may not support many of Paul's views, but I sure like the way he handled this Obama-loving sycophant!
Bravo, Ron! Bravo!