Interviewing Barack Obama's senior strategist, David Axelrod, Chris Matthews made a pitch to get Obama on his Hardball College Tour. On last night's edition of the show, Matthews made this syrupy plea to Axelrod: "I think it's a great, it's a great platform for a guy who, clearly, according to my kids, and maybe me too, the kid in me, appeals to the youth of America and the young at heart."
The following is the full exchange as it occurred on the February 19th edition of MSNBC’s Hardball.
Matthews: "Let me ask you, David Axelrod, let me just try to make a proposition to you. On behalf of our producers here and everybody that works at MSNBC, we would like a lot to have your candidate, Barack Obama, to sit, the junior senator from Illinois be our guest, our special guest on a town meeting with college students at some college, perhaps, of his choice. Certainly a good college. And we'd love him in the round with the students for an hour, like we did with John McCain and we've done with other candidates, including Hillary Clinton in the past, and, and Rudy Giuliani and the others. We've tried to get everybody. We would really like to get Barack Obama. You don't have to answer today."
David Axelrod, senior strategist for Barack Obama: "Well, I appreciate the offer. And I, because we, we're spending a lot of time on college campuses, a lot of the energy is coming from young people here. So it's a great invitation and I am going to, I'm gonna get right out of there and pass it along."
Matthews: "Well, we will pay for it, and it is very expensive, but it will be a well-lighted room and he get a chance to answer questions for a full hour in front of students, and they'll get involved with him. And I think it's a great, it's a great platform for a guy who, clearly, according to my kids, and maybe me too, the kid in me, appeals to the youth of America and the young at heart. There's no doubt what you say is true. He does draw on something deeply good about this country. And we will have to see whether he can really deliver. Anyway, thank you very much, David Axelrod."