Chris Matthews Told Ryan in 2010 'We Are Trying to Match With Obama the Social Democracy of Europe'

MSNBC's Chris Matthews went on a rant early Wednesday morning about Republicans accusing President Obama of trying to bring European socialism to America.

Unfortunately, the aging Hardball host conveniently forgot that he basically said the same thing to Paul Ryan in 2010 (video follows with transcripts and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, MSNBC DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION COVERAGE, SEPTEMBER 5, 2012: You know I think, I think another thing is, we already have Medicaid for people who are below the poverty line. There's a person who's hit with a catastrophic health condition. It could hit anybody whether you are above or below the poverty line. It isn't a poverty program. It's a health insurance program against this kind of cost.

Anyway, don't you think it's better for the Democrats to talk about it in human terms like this wonderful woman just did, who's had to take care of her child, than to let the Republicans keep calling it European socialism and all that stuff?

ROBERT COSTA, NATIONAL REVIEW: Look. Anecdotal politics I think can take you only so far.

MATTHEWS: Do you think you are being socialism, what we're just watching here? Is this  something imported from somewhere else?

COSTA: I think universal health care coverage is something that happens in Europe.

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: It imported from Massachusetts, come on.

MATTHEWS: Is the idea of health care imported?

COSTA: Universal health care is by far a European principle.

MATTHEWS: I thought Deval Patrick beautifully emoted tonight that it's 90 years promised because it was Teddy Roosevelt who started promising. Was he a European?

COSTA: Teddy Roosevelt.

MATTHEWS: Is the Heritage Foundation some communist front?

COSTA: Look, I think Mitt Romney though is not making the European argument. He's making the argument based on policy expansion of the government.

MATTHEWS: You guys play this game over and over again that Obama no matter what he does good for this country is some kind of foreigner, from Africa or Europe. You're always doing it, you always do it. It's always some other, he's some other. Anyway, you guys never - by the way, you want me to read back his speeches to you? That genius you got running for president, all he talks about is this guy's European.

"That genius you got running for president, all he talks about is this guy's European."

I guess Matthews forgot about his interview with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) on March 3, 2010:

MATTHEWS: You know, I've been through this. I'm older than you. I've been through this, watching this and being a staffer up there. I watched them, your party. Ronald Reagan back in '86, in his second term, talked about putting caps on some of these COLAs and things like that to reduce the automatic growth in the entitlements like Social Security. He lost.

You know, Paula Hawkins got defeated, blown away; Jeremiah Denton got blown away in Alabama. All the conservatives got blown away the minute they put the -- it's called the third rail for a reason. If somebody signs on to your legitimate proposals for balancing the budget at some point in the future, they will lose elections, because the voters do want something for nothing, don't they? You say they don't.

REPRESENTATIVE PAUL RYAN (R-WISCONSIN): So --

MATTHEWS: You say they don't want something for nothing? I think they do.

RYAN: We have had this problem -- if it was not what you said, then we would have fixed this already by now. So what I propose -- and if we act soon, you can say to anybody who's in or near retirement, "If you're 55 or over, we're not going to change your benefits. If you're under the age of 55, these programs are going bankrupt anyway. They're not going to be there for you as they are designed today. So let's reform them, make them more sustainable so they work."

And so what I've basically said is we want to have a sturdy and sustainable safety net in America for people with low income, for people who are sick. Let's have that. But then let's have a system on top of it that's sustainable for future generations. If you act now, you can make sure that people in and near retirement, above 55, have no huge disruptions in their lives.

MATTHEWS: Okay.

RYAN: And so that's my point. Do it now. You won't hurt people in retirement, and you'll save these programs, make them more sustainable for future generations. If you keep delaying entitlement reform, then all bets are off and people are going to have severe disruptions in their lives.

MATTHEWS: Let me put a liberal hat on for a minute. It seems to me that we are trying to match with President Obama the social democracy of Europe.

RYAN: I think that's right.

MATTHEWS: And I think that's a good idea myself.


"It seems to me that we are trying to match with President Obama the social democracy of  Europe. And I think that's a good idea myself."

So, it's wrong for Romney and the Republicans to accuse Obama of bringing "the social democracy of Europe" to America, but it's okay for Matthews to do it.

As I've said for many years, it takes a lot of rationalizations to be a liberal these days.

(HT NB reader Andrew Aromando)

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