On Thursday’s “Hardball” on MSNBC, former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele called host Chris Matthews a sycophant — a chief flatter — for President Barack Obama on the heels of what some perceived to be an underwhelming economic speech.
The message from Obama was that it is either his way or the way of his predecessor President George W. Bush. He made little mention of his record through his first three-and-a-half years in office. With that message in mind, Matthews asked Steele, an MSNBC contributor, to give him the “profound difference” in economic policy between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Bush.
“Chris, that is an irrelevant comparison,” Steele said. “I’m not answering that question. … I’m being very honest about it because, again, you’re doing exactly what Obama wants us to do and you’re a good sycophant for it.”
Steele insisted that Bush wasn’t part of this equation.
“You give me the differences between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama,” he said. “That’s what this election is about. This is not about George Bush. Why are we talking about George Bush? We’re talking about Barack Obama and his policies that have not created the jobs, that has kept unemployment stagnant, that still has some 10-15 million people unemployed looking for work who have just given up.”
“What I heard today, and the governor’s right — the first part of his speech began to set the narrative, but then the latter half or two-thirds of it fell off into this sort of defensive mode,” Steele continued. “And that’s what the people are going to focus on — that split vision between these two candidates running for the presidency of the United States.”