MSNBC host Chris Matthews was baffled Friday night by the GOP’s choice to invite “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson to speak at the Republican Leadership Conference.
Matthews told his “Hardball” audience that the GOP’s “showing up with this guy from ‘Duck Farm or whatever’ is part of the problem. They’re playing to people who have rebel license plates on their cars. That’s who they’re talking to with this character.”
“I guess the GOP is more desperate than I thought to call someone like me,” Robertson had told the audience at RLC on Thursday.
MSNBC commentator Michelle Bernard joined Matthews in slamming the GOP’s choice of bringing the “Duck Dynasty” star as “sticking to the white racist in the country.”
“Quite frankly, he was probably on to something when he said the Republican party must be pretty desperate to call a guy like him. It’s reinvoking this obsession we have seen with the modern day Republican party of, you know, of sort of sticking to the white racist in the country,” said Bernard.
“It’s a very, very sad thing, and quite frankly, what is sadder is that the ‘mainstream Republicans’ like Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, and Sarah Palin, were in an actual competition yesterday to introduce Phil Robertson at the Republican Leadership Conference. What does that say about today’s Republican party?”
Matthews noted that Robertson “did not disappoint, hitting all the erogenous zones: traditional marriage, guns, creationism and personhood” at the Republican event.
Benjy Sarlin, MSNBC.com’s political reporter, told Matthews: “Nothing he was saying with out of line with the GOP… The fact that someone like Reince Priebus who knows this is a problem is forced to share a stage with this guy and so captured by the conservative base that he can’t distance himself at all from this guy when necessary, shows the problem they have. They’ve been unable to reach an escape velocity to leave people like Phil Robertson behind.”