Matthews Smears All Other GOPers in the Race as 'Crazy,' Huntsman Replies: 'Thank You'

MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Friday interviewed 2012 presidential candidate Jon Huntsman and smeared the rest of the Republican field as "crazy," asserting that the Utah Governor is the only "sane" choice. This prompted Huntsman to reply, simply, "Thank you."

The Hardball anchor knocked Michele Bachmann as "looney tunes" and wondered how Huntsman could "sit next to a person who says there shouldn't be any taxes and have a reasonable conversation with her?"  [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Huntsman merely replied, "It's the primary phase of this campaign. All voices ought to be heard." Matthews pressed, "Who would be a better president? Barack Obama or Michele Bachmann?" The ex-ambassador to China dodged, "Don't get me into that game."

At one point, the journalist gushed, "You know what I want to say to you? Thank you for your service. Thank you for your service, for being the same man in the Republican Party. It reminds us there's actually someone who has their feet on the ground."

Huntsman accepted the statement as a compliment: "Thank you."

Matthews piled on, "And thanks for being crazy, as you put it, in other words, sane in the Republican Party."

The Republican presidential candidate, who is polling at two percent nationally, beamed.

A transcript of the exchange, which aired at 5:42pm EDT, follows:


CHRIS MATTHEWS: Who would be a better president? Barack Obama or Michele Bachmann?

JON HUNTSMAN: Don't get me into that game.

MATTHEWS: I'm asking.

HUNTSMAN: Don't get me into that game.

...

MATTHEWS: But you've been surrounded by loony tune arguments. I mean, Michele Bachmann said we shouldn't pay any taxes. How can you sit next to a person who says there shouldn't be any taxes and have a reasonable conversation with her?

HUNTSMAN: It's the primary phase of this campaign. All voices ought to be heard.

MATTHEWS: The primitive phase.

HUNTSMAN: I mean, look at the Democrat Party. Same thing. All voices are heard and then it's winnowed down.

MATTHEWS: Anyway- You know what I want to say to you? Thank you for your service. Thank you for your service, for being the same man in the Republican Party. It reminds us there's actually someone who has their feet on the ground.

HUNTSMAN: Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: We all think we like you. We won't destroy you by saying you're doing well, because that'll probably kill you. Tell your friends to come over. We'd like to see some of them, too.

HUNTSMAN: Will do. Of course.

MATTHEWS: Those guys you hang around with on debate nights. Thank you. Very impressive, governor. I'm very familiar with Utah politics. You were a great governor, and enormously popular out there. I think you did a fabulous job as a United States ambassador to China. Thank you for your service.

HUNTSMAN: Thank you, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Thank you for coming to Hardball.

HUNTSMAN: Appreciate it.

MATTHEWS: And thanks for being crazy, as you put it, in other words, sane in the Republican Party.

[Huntsman smiles broadly.]

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