As American voters prepared to watch the first of three presidential debates between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Chris Matthews had some last minute advice for each of the two candidates: “Kick him in the balls!”
Matthews shared the historical anecdote with anchor Rachel Maddow, recalling the advice JFK got from his brother before debating Richard Nixon — advice to play offense, not defense.
“Well, you know, Bobby Kennedy said to Jack Kennedy on the way out the door to debate Dick Nixon, ‘Kick him in the balls.’ You know? Sometimes it’s just something like that, something like that. That’s history, not me talking.”
“And sometimes it’s just that kind of sense of, ‘Go get ’em!’ And that can be the thing you need,” Matthews said.
“Nixon’s guy, on the other hand, said to him, ‘Erase the assassin’s image.’ That was a real picker-upper for Nixon. Don’t look like the 5 o’clock shadow bad guy. Well he didn’t, he just lost. I like the way Bobby handled it better.”