Yeah, he went there. According to Hardball host Chris Matthews on Tuesday night, “bloodthirsty” Republican delegates are ready to “kill” Hillary Clinton. The MSNBC journalist was unhappy at GOP convention attendees for chanting, “lock her up.” Talking to Jonathan Capehart, he haltingly ranted, “And I get the feeling, he [Chris Christie] wanted — if they had said, ‘kill her now,’ it was almost that bloodthirsty.”
Referencing “sword and sandals” movies such as Gladiator, Matthews made a thumbs down sign and added, “The audience as requested, responded always with the verdict of guilty. And they said it in a blood curdling way every time.”
Earlier in the evening, Matthews described anti-Clinton speeches as “this festival of hating Hillary tonight, this brewing up of almost a witch-like ritual tonight.”
A partial transcript is below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: In 1956, the Democrats thought their way of beating Eisenhower was to beat the hell out of Nixon. They were going to beat the hell out of this guy. And Bobby Kennedy was following the campaign, “said they don't get it. The people that hate Nixon the most are already Democrats, you're wasting your time.” And I was thinking tonight, and it's this festival of hating Hillary tonight, this brewing up of almost a witch-like ritual tonight, I kept thinking, wait a minute, they already hate Hillary. So what’s the point? And does this get to the middle of the road voters who say, you know, “I’m worried about my kids. I have all kinds of issues. But none of them really relate to how much I hate Hillary.” They relate to other things. I know these people are all imperfect. I know Hillary has got this credibility problem, but I only got a choice here. How does this make me like Trump anymore?
RON FOURNIER: Right. Middle of the road voters don’t want to hear an audience saying “send her to prison. Send her to prison.”
MATTHEWS: Yeah, lock her up.
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FOURNIER: Lock her up. They don't want to hear guilty guilty over and over again. But here’s the thing.
MATTHEWS: It seems third world, by the way. As Brian pointed out, someone pointed out earlier, when you talk about locking up your opponent, that's banana republic. Someone said that. Not Brian.
[Video of crowd chanting “lock her up.”]
MATTHEWS: First of all, an overall sort of aesthetic, historic assessment. when Christie was up there with that very rough justice, I might put it, of Hillary Clinton, and he kept saying, “In each case I'm going to ask you for your verdict,” it did remind me of those old swords and sandals movies with the Roman emperor going up and down in the coliseum. And I get the feeling, he wanted — if they had said, “kill her now,” it was almost that bloodthirsty. [Makes a thumbs down.] It was like this stuff. And the audience as requested, responded always with the verdict of guilty. And they said it in a blood curdling way every time.