Chris Matthews Smears: Immigration Enforcement Supporters Are Like Back to Africa Types

Chris Matthews on Monday smeared supporters of enforcing America's immigration laws, linking them to the post-Civil War "back to Africa" movement for African Americans. After liberal columnist David Corn insisted that Mitt Romney had boxed himself in, politically, on the issue, Matthews snarled, "How is this any different than the big boat argument of people when it comes to African Americans after the Civil War?"

Matthews continued, "This idea of 'put them on a boat and send them back where they came from.'" Finding the worst motives in his political opponents, Matthews insisted, "You know, he says that in polite language, but that's what Romney's been saying. 'Get home where you came from.'" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

Later, Politico journalist John Heilemann pointed out that some older Latinos don't support illegal immigration.

This, apparently deviated too much from Matthews' talking points. He pounced, "What is the reaction to people that don't like them though? It's one thing to have a conservative view on the law. What do you do when you hear there's people in politics who just don't like you because you're Mexican American?"

The Hardball anchor didn't explain just which GOP politicians are saying, "I don't like Mexicans."

A partial transcript of the June 18 segment can be found below:


DAVID CORN: What Romney has done is put himself into a pair of cement shoes. He has taken the most extreme position you have. I'm not saying it's not an unprincipled position. It's a logical, coherent very, very severely conservative position, which is we're not going to do anything about the 12 million people here who are undocumented or their kids or anything like that. Everyone has to go home and that's it, end of story. He's, you know- It's a consistent position. It just doesn't match reality. It doesn't match policy reality because it can't work as a policy and really doesn't match political reality, which is why he's been so tongue tied ever since the President took offensive on this on Friday.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: How is this any different than the big boat argument of people when it comes to African Americans after the Civil War? This idea of 'put them on a boat and send them back where they came from.' You know, he says that in polite language, but that's what Romney's been saying. 'Get home where you came from.' Start all over again.

...

JOHN HEILEMANN: As for Latinos, look, there is, if you go around focus groups in the southwest, there are older Hispanics who resent illegal immigrants as much some, as some white Americans do. So, it's not-

MATTHEWS: What is the reaction to people that don't like them though? It's one thing to have a conservative view on the law. What do you do when you hear there's people in politics who just don't like you because you're Mexican American?

HEILEMANN: Well, look, I think those people, it's very hard to get someone to vote for you if they think- if you think- 

MATTHEWS: If you hate them.

HEILEMANN: If you believe, as a voter, think that the politician hates you as an ethnic group.

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