Chris Matthews, the host of MSNBC’s Hardball, suggested his upcoming interview with President Obama will look more like softball, saying he will “let” the president “meet [his] purpose, first off the bat.”
“So my view basically is that the president will come with a purpose,” he told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts Thursday morning. “Let him meet that purpose, first off the bat. I think he’ll appeal to young people in that audience to be grown-ups — whatever phrase he uses — to get engaged with the healthcare system, take responsibility for their own health, even though they’re young and healthy at this point.”
“I think he’ll make a pitch like that,” he continued. “I think he’ll have to deal with this NSA story that’s out there today in the [Washington] Post, dealing with surveillance. Let him do that, because that’s why he’s coming to do this. And then we’ll get into the questions I want to get into.”
Matthews also promised “easier questions” for Obama, including “voter suppression efforts in 36 states by the Republicans. So he can bite into that.”
The host, who once famously stated that candidate Obama sent a “thrill” up his leg, gave credit to the president for agreeing to an interview. He also scolded young people for rejecting the Obamacare exchanges, which will be destroyed by a premium “death spiral” if too few young, healthy people pay into them.
“I don’t want to get too high-toned about it, but you know in the Kennedy era there was a sense of being called to duty and meeting your personal responsibility to the country,” he said. (Related: Chris Matthews’ Obama interview bumps, inconveniences child ballet dancers)
“A responsible person would say ‘You now what? That’s as reasonable as asking me to have a driver’s license,’” he later added. “‘That’s as reasonable as asking me to take a driver’s test and to drive the speed limit and to not be under the influence of drugs and alcohol.’ And I think people have to be challenged that way.”
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