Reacting to Sen. Rand Paul’s 2016 announcement Tuesday, Chris Matthews saluted Paul for his opposition to hawkish members of the Republican Party who are attacking him over his foreign policy chops.
Appearing with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, a visibly-agitated Matthews railed against the GOP’s “rotten crowd” of hawks, while going after MSNBC themselves for giving free airtime to such an ad.
MATTHEWS: I think [Paul] laid down the fight here. He said the line is ‘I’m not for nation-building overseas, I’m going to build bridges here at home, not over there. It is a direct charge against the neocons and the piggish money behind them right now. And you talk about the big money being spent against them, let’s lay out who those people are. Let’s not just talk about ads as if they’re coming from God. There’s a rotten crowd that is hawkish in the Republican Party that wants to fight more wars and do more regime change, more nation-building. Let’s go through the list. They wanted to knock off Iraq, they wanted to knock off Egypt, they wanted to knock off Syria. They want to knock off Iran and they already did Libya. It’s really worked well for us, hasn’t it? This continued effort to knock countries apart, create instability and chaos and then say we’re going to create western-style pro-Israeli democracies.
It is all nonsense. It’s always been nonsense. I think the Republican voter out there, not the piggish money people, but the regular voter is not going to stand for it. Look at the latest poll we have from Pennsylvania. A regular state. Pretty much a bit of Democratic but not too Democratic of a state. Rand Paul is beating Hillary Clinton there by a point. That tells me all this money, this piggish money — that is the term we used in the ’60s for the hawks, all this money that’s trying to create a right-wing hawkish for president may not sit too well for the average Republican voter because the cloth-coat regular Republicans who send their kids to war are not the ones who pay for the ads. They are totally different people. The ones who send their kids to war and come home maimed and wonder what the hell they were doing it for, those people are not impressed by these God damn ads. I wouldn’t even talk about the ads, but I certainly wouldn’t put them on for free, Tom. That’s what we should stop doing. Stop running right-wing ads for free on our network.
THOMAS ROBERTS: Well I don’t think we can filter out the fact that attack ads started right away…
MATTHEWS: Who paid for the ads?
ROBERTS: The Foundation for Secure and Prosperous America is the person —
MATTHEWS: What the hell is that. Come on. They’re all front groups. They’re hawkish right-wing front groups. Call them what they are. Let’s not pretend like some nice people got together and thought we ought to go to war and nation-build and knock off another government. And I salute Rand Paul for having the guts to take on this crowd. He may be the only Republican candidate for doing it which make him worth watching it.