A frequent whiner when it comes to Republicans and voter ID laws, MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews couldn’t help but briefly commiserate with his guests following the first 2016 GOP presidential debate that the “denial of voting rights” and other issues like “childhood development” that “parents, especially mothers care about” were not discussed in the debate.
With former Ohio Democratic State Senator Nina Turner on the set, Matthews turned to her and gushed that he was “proud of the fact on this show Hardball and other shows on MSNBC, we talk about denial of voting rights” and complained that it was something that “wasn’t talked about tonight.”
Arguing that voter suppression is being carried out “almost every week,” Matthews took the opportunity to lash out at the GOP for not choosing to “get our act together” despite “losing the campaign because of demographics.”
Tripping over his own words (as he does daily), Matthews grumbled that the GOP has tried to stop “some of those traditional African ways of voting – African-American ways of voting” before reiterating that “it never came up tonight in this two-hour debate.”
Turner picked up the mantle and in reminding viewers that this week marked “the 50-year anniversary of the Voting Rights Act,” the liberal panelist chastised debate moderators Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace for not having “the courage to ask the candidates where they stood on voting rights.”
Changing subjects, Matthews moaned about how it “bothered me again tonight” that he saw “how the two political parties are ships passing through the night” as Hillary Clinton’s “talk[ing] about child development, education, all the things that parents, especially mothers care about” while “Republicans didn’t get to any of that stuff tonight.”
With MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt backing the Hardball host’s assumption, Matthews bloviated that it was “as if they [the Republicans] don’t have kids” and “don’t have families.”
Before the panel moved on to criticize Governor Scott Walker (Wisc.) and the GOP on abortion, Matthews ruled that, by not talking about the issues he raised, they “become Democratic issues and tonight, a lot more talk about Republican stuff, you know, particularly security...and guns.”
Hours earlier, Matthews squared off against Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina after the 5 p.m. debate and before both debates, he expressed his serious hope that the moderators asked the candidates about their opinions on evolution.
The relevant portions of the transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews on August 7 after the first 2016 GOP presidential debate can be found below.
MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews
August 7, 2015
12:31 a.m. Eastern
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about what wasn't talked tonight and, you know, I'm proud of the fact on this show Hardball and other shows on MSNBC we talk about denial of voter rights.
NINA TURNER: Yes.
MATTHEWS: I mean, almost every week because it would seem to be an American value and even if you're losing the campaign because of demographics, you figure, well, I’ve got to get our act together. But you don't start preventing people from voting. Souls to the polls, some of those those traditional African ways of voting – African-American ways of voting –
TURNER: On Sundays.
MATTHEWS: – and just saying, well, let's tighten that up a little bit. We can get it –
MATTHEWS: And then states like Pennsylvania that openly said this is how they win elections for Republicans. How about here in Ohio? And by the way, let’s bring it back to it, it never came up tonight in this two-hour debate.
TURNER: No, and this is the 50 – well, past midnight, but the 50-year anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and none of the commentators had the courage to ask the candidates where they stood on voting rights and the Republicans had the pure unadulterated gall to send out a tweet saying that they want to give homage to those who sacrifice. Well, the way that you support those who gave of their blood, sweat, and tears for voting is increase access to voting, not to suppress it, and so, I say that sometimes my Republican colleagues subscribe to if we can't beat them, we cheat them and the way we cheat them is through redistricting in a way that the voter doesn't get to choose those who are running for office and then through trying to suppress the vote. We live through that here.
MATTHEWS: So, it just bothered me again tonight when I see how the two political parties are ships passing through the night. Hillary Clinton will talk about child development, education, all the things that parents, especially mothers care about. Republicans didn't get to any of that stuff tonight. Really?
KASIE HUNT: They did not.
MATTHEWS: They just did not – as if they don't have kids, they don't have families. I mean, those issues become Democratic issues and tonight, a lot more talk about Republican stuff, you know[.]