Video: Matthews rips Conway over “Aqua Buddha” ad

posted at 10:12 am on October 19, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It’s about as good as it’s billed, but bear in mind the larger context of Chris Matthews’ world. I give him full marks for essentially pushing Jack Conway into a corner where the Attorney General of Kentucky has to say on national television that he takes the unsworn, uncorroborated, anonymous claim from a woman about an incident from 30 years ago as more substantive than Rand Paul’s denials, a standard that should have every judge in Kentucky on watch for Conway’s next foray into court. Matthews made Conway look absolutely ridiculous on national television, and the crowd around him gets quiet indeed as he does, but Matthews has also set up a defense later for someone a little more thrilling to him than Conway (via The Daily Caller):

MATTHEWS: Look, I know the story here. But you’re basically trusting a woman’s word here against Dr. Paul’s.

CONWAY: Yes.

MATTHEWS: Why?

CONWAY: Because, in any number of instances, I don’t think he’s told the truth.

MATTHEWS: So you just prima facie say, prima facie anyone who makes a 30-year-old charge against your opponent, you will exploit that for a TV ad.

CONWAY: No –

MATTHEWS: That’s what you’ve done here. You exploited the un-on-the-record comment of a woman who won’t come forward as the basis for a [unintelligible]. You’ve said, “He mocked Christianity and Christ.” He says the Bible — should I ask you questions about the Bible, what you believe? Should I start asking you questions about whether you believe in the seven days of Creation? If you believe in angels? Should I start asking politicians those questions? Personally, I refuse.

Matthews is actually holding Conway to the standard Matthews demanded during the 2008 presidential campaign when people began questioning Barack Obama’s ties to Jeremiah Wright and Trinity United when Wright’s unhinged sermons came to light.  He argued at the time that questions about Obama’s faith or lack thereof should be considered out of bounds and castigated those who debated the issue.  In that sense, Matthews is making good on his preferences for the parameters of political debate, and that’s at least much less hypocritical than we see from partisans during election campaigns, and Matthews should be praised for that.  Ezra Klein and Jonathan Chait deserve credit for this, too.

But one has to presume, given Matthews’ professed leg tingles for President Obama, that he’s also essentially protecting that turf for the 2012 campaign.  He wants to ensure that the Wright questions remain on the sidelines in Obama’s re-election effort.  That, however, is probably turf that doesn’t need defending.  The Wright issue didn’t derail Obama in 2008 in either the primary (where Hillary Clinton hit him hard with it) or in the general election.  And his first two years have given Republicans more than enough ammunition for a 2012 challenge already without delving into Obama’s past mysteries.  In 2012, Obama will be a known quantity, not an unknown, and that won’t be a plus for the incumbent.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Did I just watch Chris Matthews ask if “he should ask every politician about his or her faith? If he or she believes in the 7 days of creation?”

Erm, Chrissie, you DO ask every conservative who comes on your program whether they believe in evolution or creation.

Does this man EVER analyze his own job performance?

hrh40 on October 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Does this man EVER analyze his own job performance?

hrh40 on October 19, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Nah;
Because even he can’t stand to watch his own show.

massrighty on October 19, 2010 at 12:05 PM

And his first two years have given Republicans more than enough ammunition for a 2012 challenge already without delving into Obama’s past mysteries. In 2012, Obama will be a known quantity, not an unknown, and that won’t be a plus for the incumbent.

He still is a ‘mystery’, an empty vessel.

In 2012 the media will still try but the masses will be awake.

Such tomfoolery s/b forbidden to be repeated.

The nation is ashamed and will not be had for a repeat.

Machiavelli never thought to have such a charlatan on Earth, never.

Schadenfreude on October 19, 2010 at 12:07 PM

unsworn, uncorroborated, anonymous claim from a woman about an incident from 30 years ago as more substantive than Rand Paul’s denials,

If I remember right its not even a she said Rand said issue. They’ve said the same thing. The woman said she thought it was a prank and she was in no way forced to do anything. Rand said he never kidnapped anyone. Hence I dont know where the hell Conway can go with it.

Zaggs on October 19, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Really, Ed? You think Matthews is pulling some cynical stunt to protect Obama in 2012? Because.. wow. That’s kind of a stretch.

amkun on October 19, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Actually, it’s so beneath Ed to make such an assumption and attack that I am genuinely surprised.

amkun on October 19, 2010 at 12:40 PM

This Conway clown is like John Edwards……only publicly SLIMIER.

PappyD61 on October 19, 2010 at 12:47 PM

ALTHOUGH, Conway is smart to make the charge in the sense that it will be out there, and will probably persuade the ‘not paying attention’ voters that Paul is some sort of Buddhist and likes to tie up women.

Kind of like putting out there the “I CAN SEE RUSSIA FROM MY HOUSE” crap that Tina Fey put out there, that now is just assumed to have been said by Palin.

Get the lie or misquote out there and let it play.

PappyD61 on October 19, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Conway better be careful about who he offends, or me and my fellow aqua buddhist brothers and sisters will declare aqua jihad on him!

76United on October 19, 2010 at 1:08 PM

conway, you’ve lost that tingling feeling…

cmsinaz on October 19, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Guy is a dirtbag.

ButterflyDragon on October 19, 2010 at 1:30 PM

Matthews is making good on his preferences for the parameters of political debate, and that’s at least much less hypocritical than we see from partisans during election campaigns, and Matthews should be praised for that. Ezra Klein and Jonathan Chait deserve credit for this, too.

You could say that. Or, you can be more cynical, like I am, and say they want people like Paul in the Republican Party for a multitude of reasons.

Cr4sh Dummy on October 19, 2010 at 6:25 PM

I think Matthews is concerned about the Democrat brand. I think Matthews can see that going too far could hurt the Democrat brand more than help it. Quite frankly I can’t believe a political party could stoop this low not because of just ethics but it reeks of incompetance and an inability to think seriously. I think Rush is correct in that Obama will destroy the democrat brand for a generation. He also is taking what is left of the MSM with him as they defend increasingly idiotic moves by the left.

Conan on October 19, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Chris Matthews ought to do ever interview like that from now on. If he did, he might have more journalistic credibility.

MATTHEWS: That’s what you’ve done here. You exploited the un-on-the-record comment of a woman who won’t come forward as the basis for a [unintelligible]. You’ve said, “He mocked Christianity and Christ.” He says the Bible — should I ask you questions about the Bible, what you believe? Should I start asking you questions about whether you believe in the seven days of Creation? If you believe in angels? Should I start asking politicians those questions? Personally, I refuse.

Lets see if Chris Matthews will keep his word again in 2012 because I know it will come up again with Obama, Palin, Huckaee and Romney.

Personally, I wish people focused on the candidate’s positions and experience rather than his religion. I hope we conservatives remember that for 2012.

Conservative Samizdat on October 19, 2010 at 8:41 PM

Comment pages: 1 2