“It is obvious that this is something I care passionately about: race was abused by white politicians in my lifetime, including Reagan. For someone to come on the program and deny that this is part of their process, I couldn’t take that,” Matthews said. “This is something I really, deeply believe in. We grew up in a country where appeals to race have been awful, terrible. This language — we are beyond this. It had to be called out.”…

But Matthews told POLITICO that has received an outpouring of support — from his bosses, who he says “agree with substance of what I said,” and from fans in places as disparate as Mozambique and Jamaica.

“I have never heard — never heard — such a positive response,” Matthews said. “The people I’ve met, globally, the people who have felt this, personally — I’ve never got such a positive response.”