It’s the story that won’t die – possibly because MSNBC doesn’t want it to, since it seems that it could delegitimize the Republican Party and conservatives: Taking “fringe notions” and portraying them to be mainstream, including the issue of President Barack Obama’s citizenship.
On Tuesday’s “Hardball,” host Chris Matthews led off his program and scrutinized the reasons why Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor won’t condemn Republican members that question the president’s citizenship. His conclusion? Boehner and Cantor are collaborators, using the myth for political gain.
“OK, you know what I want to do something right now,” Matthews said. “I’m going accuse those leaders, they’re very smart gentlemen. Cantor seems like a good guy and of course, Boehner seems like a good guy. Let me just say this – I hereby accuse them of collaboration.”
Matthews explained that this so-called “collaboration” is meant to advance gains with primary voters and the theory is based on the Republican leaders’ unwillingness to attack those that hold views questioning Obama’s citizenship in the Republican caucus.
“I think they are collaborating with the know-nothings out there,” Matthews said. “I think they are collaborating with the know-nothings out there, at least primary voters and they refuse to take them on. They said, ‘You may have something because they keep listening.’ Why don’t they just say, ‘You guys are crazy stop talking like this’ or, ‘Unless you got evidence that this guy was born in some other country stop talking like this’? It’s not good for the party.”
Matthews argued Boehner and Cantor were allowing Obama to be framed as an “illegitimate imposter.”
“It’s dishonesty. It’s not fair to the president and his human being to be President of the United States and people saying he’s illegitimate,” he continued. “Why don’t they do that? Do you think they are avoiding offending people and another theory they know this hurts the president. They know it works with the base in energizing them and convincing them they’re morally right to unseat this illegitimate imposter.”