MSNBC's Richard Wolffe Smears McCain as a Bigot: 'There's No Other Way to Look at It'

Former top Newsweek journalist and current MSNBC.com editor Richard Wolffe on Monday smeared Senator John McCain as a racist. According to Wolffe, there's no legitimate reason for the Republican to oppose Susan Rice's confirmation for Secretary of State. Appearing on Hardball, the journalist sneered that it was "outrageous" the way McCain was acting, raging against "this witch hunt going on the right about these people of color, let's face it, around this president. Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, now Susan Rice." [See video below.]

Such a charge seemed to shock even Chris Matthews. He sputtered, "McCain, who had his own daughter attacked, was accused of having an illegitimate child when, in fact, he adopted a young girl from South Asia. You're saying that McCain's being driven by racial prejudice here?" Wolffe confirmed, "There is no other way to look at this..." Of course, McCain opposes Rice's nomination because of her dissembling on the issue of the terrorist attack in Libya.

Yet, Wolffe hinted, "What is it about Susan Rice? And the answer is there aren't any good foreign policy explanations for [opposition]."

Earlier in the show, Matthews offered one of his standard movie asides. Randomly informing the audience that he had just seen the new Lincoln film, the host ranted, "Why is the Tenth Amendment, which reserves powers to the states from the federal government, so much an issue with Republicans?"

Talking to GOP strategist Chris Feehery, he wondered, "It sounds like the Civil War to me. Your thoughts."

A transcript of the two exchanges:


  11/19/12

5:23

CHRIS MATTHEWS: I just watched Lincoln last night. So, it's all over my head now with Thaddeus Stevens. By the way, Tommy Lee Jones steals the movie as Thaddeus Stevens. It's an amazing part and Daniel Day-Lewis is fabulous. But there's nobody is as good as Tommy Lee Jones. Anyway, you talk about the Tenth Amendment in the south. Why is the Tenth Amendment, which reserves powers to the states from the federal government, so much an issue with Republicans? Why do they love that Tenth Amendment so much? It sounds like the Civil War to me. Your thoughts.

JOHN FEEHERY: My thought is I would prefer to talk about things not constitutional arguments but practical arguments. But the Tenth Amendment movement is all about the federal government is screwing up and we want to have it spend less of our money and we want to spend more of our money back home.

...

5:40

 

[On who will be Secretary of State.]

RICHARD WOLFFE: I think it's Susan Rice. There is the question about John Kerry. But I think now that John McCain has sunk his teeth in, he's made it about presidential authority, and, frankly, it's outrageous that there is this witch hunt going on the right about these people of color, let's face it, around this president. Eric Holder, Valerie Jarrett, now Susan Rice. Before it was Van Jones. This is not about who is hawkish in the same way John McCain is about foreign policy because if you look at Iran and Libya, Susan Rice checks those boxes. This is a personal vendetta. It's about presidential authority.

MATTHEWS: So, you think McCain is being-- McCain and people like Lindsey Graham, McCain, who had his own daughter attacked, was accused of having an illegitimate child when, in fact, he adopted a young girl from South Asia. You're saying that McCain's being driven by racial prejudice here?

WOLFFE: There is no other way to look at this because look at her foreign policy and by the way, Look at what John McCain said about Condi Rice's nomination. We're running this story on the front page of the MSNBC website right now. Back then– four years-- eight years ago, John McCain said the people -- the Democrats who were questioning Condi Rice's credentials they were engaged with bitter innocence, they needed to move on. Why has he changed his tune? What is it about Susan Rice? And the answer is there aren't any good foreign policy explanations for it.

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