On this morning’s Today show, MSNBC's Chris Matthews set the table for a Republican defeat this November declaring the GOP will have to resort to "fear tactics." Also NBC’s medical correspondent took a quick slap at the administration during a piece on the health of Ground Zero workers.
First up, during a preview of the midterm elections Today host Matt Lauer and Matthews discussed what kind of strategy the Republicans would employ.
Lauer: "Let's talk strategy. You're a Republican member of Congress right now, you're running for reelection. You have two choices basically. Stand by the President and his policies or keep an arm's length. What do you do and what's gonna work?"
Matthews: "Well you're not gonna say, 'three cheers for President Bush.' You're not gonna make it a referendum this election on how great a job the President's done or how good a job your own Republican control of Congress has done. There is no immigration bill, there's no solution to that problem. There is no social security reform. All those are failures. And then, of course, you got the Iraq war to defend which is immensely unpopular with most people now saying we shouldn't have gotten into that war. I think what the, the Republicans are gonna have to do is use fear tactics and say, 'As bad as things are now they'll be worse with the Democrats. You'll have Nancy Pelosi sitting up in the Speaker's chair. You'll have opposition to the President's program, especially in the war on terrorism. And you'll have the Democrats with the subpoena power and they'll use it against this administration.'"
In the following segment NBC’s chief science and health correspondent Robert Bazell reported on a new survey of health problems for the first responders at Ground Zero. Bazell seemed to be laying blame on the administration with these strategically placed clips:
Robert Bazell: "Three months after the Trade Center attacks 50-year-old Stanley went on permanent disability because of health reasons related to 9/11. One of over 600 New York City firefighters to do so despite repeated government assurances that the air quality at Ground Zero was safe."
[Clip of President Bush shaking hands and with loudspeaker at rubble of Ground Zero]
[Christine Todd Whitman: "Other than one high reading right after the first collapse everything is below background level, below any level that is of concern to the general population."]