Chris Matthews Links Dennis Kucinich to Churchill, Lebron James, Promises 'Enthusiastic' Coverage

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Tuesday could barely contain a tingle as he fawned over left-wing Congressman Dennis Kucinich, connecting the Representative to World War II hero Winston Churchill and NBA star Lebron James.

Discussing the idea that Kucinich, who could be redistricted out of his Ohio seat, might move to Seattle and run there, the Hardball anchor offered a pledge of positive coverage: "Let me make a promise to you. Should you make this incredible decision, we will be covering your campaign with enthusiasm. And that's a fact.

[See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Touting his ability to deliver, Matthews added, "I have some influence around here. I would find it a dandy proposition that someone from the Democratic left could find another constituency which was just as hospitable to him, even if he was screwed by the legislature of his home state."

Explaining the odd concept of Kucinich moving from Ohio to Washington State, Matthews offered this historical allusion: "I'm a Churchill nut. He moved five different times, I think, different seats when he got beaten in different places. I'm all for trying the voters."

If that wasn't hyperbolic enough, he continued, "Can you make that move and still be a Congressman in Ohio? Or will you be treated like Lebron James?"

A transcript of the May 31 segment, which aired at 5:21pm EDT, follows:


CHRIS MATTHEWS: Are we going to hear your voice in Congress after this Congress? Are you going to be able to get a seat out in Seattle where you can- like in the British system? I'm with you. I'm a Churchill nut. He moved five different times, I think, different seats when he got beaten in different places. I'm all for trying the voters. You seem to represent, you know, philosophically the people in Seattle I've gotten to know. I remember Congressman Lowry over the years out there and McDermott. You seem to be a good fit out there. Can you make that move and still be a Congressman in Ohio? Or will you be treated like Lebron James?

DENNIS KUCINICH: [Laughs[ If I could only play basketball like him.

MATTHEWS: Well, they are mad at him for leaving even if he wins the championship. So, where are you on this?

KUCINICH: I should tell you, I have no decision about where to move. My district is bound to be effected in redistricting. I don't know exactly where I will end up at this point. I would like to stay in Congress but I'm not the only one who will I have a say on that, obviously.

MATTHEWS: The filing date- rather the primary is August 21, 2012 in Washington State. When would you have to move out there to run?

KUCINICH: Well, anyone who wants it run for Congress anywhere has to be mindful of when filing deadlines are and you have to qualify first as a registered voter wherever you are going to run. And that's usually before the filing deadline. In any event, Chris I-

MATTHEWS: Could you be congressman from Ohio and register in Washington State?

KUCINICH: No, I haven't made a decision yet about a candidacy.

MATTHEWS: But, can you be?

KUCINICH: But, the answer to that question is no. No, that's not possible. You have to live in the area where you are running. And if you are running in an area, you have to be a registered voter. So, I haven't crossed that bridge yet.

MATTHEWS: Well, let me make a promise to you. Let me make a promise to you. Should you make this incredible decision, we will be covering your campaign with enthusiasm. And that's a fact.

KUCINICH: I appreciate that. Thank you so much.

MATTHEWS: I have some influence around here. I would find it a dandy proposition that someone from the Democratic left could find another constituency which was just as hospitable to him, even if he was screwed by the legislature of his home state. Anyway, thank you Congressman Kucinich, sir.        

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org