That didn't take very long.
Within five minutes of the start of MSNBC's coverage of the Arizona and Michigan primaries Tuesday evening, Hardball host Chris Matthews falsely claimed Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum wants to "outlaw birth control" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You’ve got to think this is a bit scary to some people. First of all, you have one candidate, Romney, who speaks very calmly of going to war a third time in a dozen years without any nervousness, we’re going to go to war with Iran. If he’s president, Iran will not have nuclear weapons. What an ultimatum that is right there. He talks as if he’s still in the boardroom, talking about how we’re going to let the auto industry die, how it’s okay to fire people.
Santorum, on the other hand, talks as if we can go back to the early 1950s before the Griswold decision. He speaks about it would be okay under his view of the Constitution that we simply outlaw birth control, not just abortion. He speaks very lightly of that. He speaks with some strange resentment, what we’ve only discovered right now thank God for this long primary season, his resentment of higher education.
This is why I like this campaign, Rachel. I love covering it because it’s public television. We’re learning about the candidates for president. We’re learning about perhaps the economic elitism of one candidate who has other advantages, but certainly economic elitism is part of it, and another guy who has a very culturally conservative view of the world that goes way back to anything we’ve had in American political or presidential politics in decades.
I think we’re learning a lot, I think this is good for America, it’s also good for the Democrats.
Matthews has been regularly misinforming MSNBC viewers about this matter as he did on February 16 regardless of it being totally false. Here's what Santorum told the Washington Post's Melinda Henneberger on January 6 about this very subject:
“I was asked if I believed in it, and I said, ‘No, I’m a Catholic, and I don’t.’ I don’t want the government to fund it through Planned Parenthood, but that’s different than wanting to ban it; the idea I’m coming after your birth control is absurd. I was making a statement about my moral beliefs, but I won’t impose them on anyone else in this case. I don’t think the government should be involved in that. People are free to make their own decisions.’’
The former Pennsylvania senator recently told ABC’s Jake Tapper that, yes, he disagrees with Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 Supreme Court decision that struck down a ban on contraception.
He said Friday evening that it’s the idea that states don’t have a right to pass such a law that he opposes, because he does not see the right to privacy as a constitutional right envisioned by its signers. This is hardly a new argument.
“It could have been a law against buying shoestrings; that it was contraception has nothing to do with it. States have the right to pass even dumb laws.”
To be clear, he does think that laws banning birth control would be dumb “for a number of reasons. Birth control should be legal in the United States. The states should not ban it, and I would oppose any effort to ban it.’’
Isn't that clear enough for people like Matthews, or are facts completely irrelevant to the shills at MSNBC?
Or is this what Matthews meant when he said, "It’s also good for the Democrats?"