Is the "thrill" gone? Chris Matthews' despair over the faltering presidency of Barack Obama increased on Wednesday as the Hardball anchor compared the Democrat to George W. Bush.
An angry Matthews brought up Obama's June 13 comment that, regarding the stimulus, "shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected." The MSNBC anchor railed, "That reminded me of Dubya, who was out to lunch on the war in Iraq, saying he couldn't find the WMD and thinking that's funny."
[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Trying to still be somewhat positive, the cable host reminded, "You know, I generally support everything the guy does. I like his temperament. I like everything about him, except this thing of jobs, this thing of not doing what needs to be done."
Matthews, who was talking to former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, continued, "It's not funny when the President says he can't find work out there when everybody can see there's work to be done!"
On Monday, Matthews slammed Obama for being ineffective and not saying, "Tax the freakin' rich!"
During the 2008 presidential campaign, the liberal host famously said that an Obama speech caused a "thrill" to go up his leg.
A transcript of the exchange can be found below:
ROBERT REICH: I think what the President has got to do is say to those people, those naysayers, "I don't care. America is hurting right now. We have the worst economic insecurity and job situation since the Great Depression and I, as president, I have got to be out there. Bill Richardson, the one thing I disagree with, I think the President does need to have to a jobs plan and has got to summon Congress back for it. We can't say five weeks, six weeks, seven weeks doesn't matter. We have a nice summer vacation. No! This is a crisis, and it's a crisis right now.
BILL RICHARDSON: Well, my point is that the President needs a plan. And you can't rush it. Get everybody together, some new people out there in the country. Listen to them. I'm saying have one ready soon, but those that say call them back without a plan, I don't think that makes sense.
REICH: Oh, of course you have to have a plan.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Wait, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Governor, let me ask you this question: Look, the President was joking a few months ago. You know, I generally support everything the guy does. I like his temperament. I like everything about him, except this thing of jobs, this thing of not doing what needs to be done. He was laughing at some event recently, or a while back, about how there weren't as many shovel-ready jobs as he thought there were. That reminded me of Dubya, who was out to lunch on the war in Iraq, saying he couldn't find the WMD and thinking that's funny. It's not funny when the President says he can't find work out there when everybody can see there's work to be done! What's he talking about when he says- You're a governor. Aren't there shovel-ready jobs out there? Aren't there bridges below code? Aren't there roads-
MATTHEWS: Why does he say they're not ready?
RICHARDSON: But, what we need are new ideas. New- Create a fund-
MATTHEWS: New ideas? What's wrong with the old ideas?
RICHARDSON: Well, that's a good idea. Bu, create a fund that goes to the private sector.
MATTHEWS: You got the old roads, why do you need old ideas for the old roads?