On Wednesday's Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews trashed Rick Perry, accusing him of calling Barack Obama "pro-Nazi." Matthews attacked the Republican presidential candidate for claiming that the President's policy towards Israel is "appeasement." The anchor shrieked that Perry had pulled "the rug out from under [Obama] and accuse[d] him of, basically, pro-Nazi behavior."
Matthews added, "We know what appeasement means. It means Neville Chamberlain." Liberal guest Joan Walsh piled on, theorizing, "He's pulling Hitler into this, which is a very horrible thing to do. It's ignorant, Chris."
[See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Walsh, who writes for Salon, insisted that Jews should be frightened of support from Perry and evangelical Christians. Matthews insisted, "Why is it scary to any thoughtful member who is a citizen of Israel? Because, what use do some of these-right-wing Christians have for Israel? The end of days, right?"
What Perry actually said during a speech in New York: "We are equally indignant of the Obama administration and their Middle East policy of appeasement."
Some more context to what the Texas Governor said:
Simply put, we would not be here today at the precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama policy in the Middle East wasn't naïve, arrogant, misguided and dangerous.
It must be said, first, that Israel is our oldest and strongest democratic ally in the Middle East and has been for more than 60 years. The Obama policy of moral equivalency, which gives equal standing to the grievances of Israelis and Palestinians, including the orchestrators of terrorism, is a dangerous insult.
There is no middle ground between our allies and those who seek their destruction. America should not be ambivalent between the terrorist tactics of Hamas and the security tactics of the legitimate and free state of Israel. By proposing 'indirect talks" through the U.S. rather than between Palestinian leaders and Israel, this administration encouraged the Palestinians to shun direct talks.
Notice, he did not accuse the President of supporting the Nazis.
A transcript of the September 21 exchange:
[On Perry saying that Obama's Israel policy has been appeasement.]
CHRIS MATTHEWS: This is the kind of language you use when you go to war with another country. It's certainly not the language you use against your own President as he is about to address the United Nations and when you know he's going to give a strong defense of Israel.
JOAN WALSH: Right.
MATTHEWS: When you know he's going to stand out there all alone in the world, pretty much. I don't know who else is voting with this time Israel this time on this issue. We are, for sure. I have to say any president right now would be, but here he is about to stand there all alone in the world and this guy pulls the rug out from under him and accuses him of, basically, pro-Nazi behavior.
MATTHEWS: We know what appeasement means. It means Neville Chamberlain. It means-
WALSH: He's pulling Hitler into this, which is a very horrible thing to do. It's ignorant, Chris. He's even gone beyond what some Israelis want. He's calling for- maybe the U.S. should cut off its aid to the Palestinian authority. Our aid funds security there. So, he knows nothing about this issue. He is- he's ignorant as ignorant can be, and he also is playing politics because Rick Perry knows he'll have a really hard time getting the Jewish vote if he should be nominated.
MATTHEWS: Why is it scary to any thoughtful member who is a citizen of Israel? Because, what use do some of these-right-wing Christians have for Israel? The end of day, right?