NewsBusters reported on October 29 that Chris Matthews wrote a speech for Barack Obama attacking his primary rival Hillary Clinton from the left. The following morning, "Fox and Friends" picked it up. Co-host Steve Doocy noted, just as Geoffrey Dickens did in his post, that Matthews is a former Jimmy Carter speech writer.
Doocy read an e-mail from Jonathan in Sag Harbor, New York calling Matthews a "Democratic stalwart" and "will do anything to get a little face time" for his "low rated program." Co-host Gretchen Carlson observed that it "sounds a lot maybe like a speech that MoveOn.org would also write."
The transcript of the discussion is below.
BRIAN KILMEADE: Chris Matthews did his show last night. He does it live every night. And instead of interviewing people on his show, he gives some advice. It's extraordinary considering Barack Obama is a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination. Outside of Hillary Clinton, he's got the most money. So why does he need advice from Chris Matthews and why is a talk show host writing a speech for another candidate?
STEVE DOOCY: Right. It wasn't just advice. He says I'm going to write this spe- I'm going to tell Barack Obama what he needs to say at the upcoming Democratic debate to beat Hillary.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: Yeah and apparently Barack Obama's down 30 points in the polls against Hillary Clinton, so-
KILMEADE: He's two points from her in Iowa and this is a game of momentum.
CARLSON: Yeah, of course. Let's take, let's take a listen to what Chris Matthews thinks Barack Obama should say.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I promise change. I promise a new approach. I promise deliverance from the rut of endless war in Iraq, inevitable war in Iran. So there you have it. It's for you my fellow Democrats to decide. If you think Bush would have succeeded with his policies if they were better executed, then go with Senator Clinton. If you think the Bush policies were wrong, dead wrong, I'm with you.
DOOCY: So that's a little snippet of this speech that he wrote for Barack Obama to deliver. About an hour and a half ago we asked you whether you thought it was appropriate for a news commentator, over at MSNBC to be writing a speech specifically for one- keep in mind he used to write speeches for Jimmy Carter. Whether or not you thought it was appropriate for an MSNBC guy to be writing a speech specifically for Barack Obama to beat Hillary Rodham Clinton, and we got a whole bunch of e-mail from people who say it's way over the line. Jonathan in Sag Harbor, New York says "of course it's not all unusual for Chris to write a speech for Obama. He is a Democratic party stalwart and for years worked for Tip O'Neill, same for George Stephanopoulos. The only difference between Chris and the rest of the mainstream media is that he has a very low rated program, so he will do anything to get a little face time."
CARLSON: Well, that probably is one way to look at it, that this is a way, because now we're talking about it as well. But I do think it's interesting because what he's, what he's doing is saying that Barack Obama needs to attack Hillary from the left. It sounds a lot maybe like a speech that MoveOn.org would also write.
KILMEADE: You know, I never thought of it that way, but the other thing is I think it's insulting. If I'm a candidate, I have my own plan, I have $100 million, I got 350- millions of donors. Now, all of a sudden, some talk show host is giving me advice and wrote a speech verbatim and then read it to me? That's insulting!
DOOCY: Do you think Chris Matthews is going to write another speech for a Republican ro deliver? Eh, probably not.