MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Tuesday escalated his attack on the Republican Party, comparing them to a violent sect of Islam. The Hardball host frothed, “Well, the GOP has become the Wahhabis of American government, willing to risk bringing down the whole country in the service of their anti-tax ideology.”
Discussing the debt ceiling vote, Matthews placed all of the blame on the right. In a tease for the segment, he fumed, “The Tea Party Republicans who are ready to bring down this country’s economy in the name of ideology. This is really getting serious, and I believe scary, what’s really being perpetrated here.” [ MP3 audio here.]
Of course, Matthews is the same person who slammed Tea Party conservatives as unthinking ” haters“who just lash out at Barack Obama with cheap comments.
On Tuesday, the MSNBC anchor said of Republicans: “The party’s being driven by fanatics and they’re determined to bounce America’s savings bonds and have the United States begin to become like Greece.”
Talking to Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, Matthews hyperbolically wondered if Republicans want to “go right off the cliff and take this country into Greece, into the way the world watches us go down the hill.”
A partial transcript of the exchanges can be found below:
Also, is the Republican Party willing to risk economic armageddon in the name of religion, that is the religion of no taxes? Well, the GOP has become the Wahhabis of American government, willing to risk bringing down the whole country in the service of their anti-tax ideology. This is no phony crisis. If you’re not careful, if we’re not careful, the country risks becoming Greece. Not ancient Greece, by the way, current Greece.
MATTHEWS: The Tea Party Republicans who are ready to bring down this country’s economy in the name of ideology. This is really getting serious, and I believe scary, what’s really being perpetrated here. Possibly, the defaulting of United States government on our debt in the world. The party’s being driven by fanatics and they’re determined to bounce America’s savings bonds and have the United States begin to become like Greece.
MATTHEWS: And I look around me with fanatics. I see fanatics, mostly on the right, some of the left. It seems to me that they’re quite willing when I hear them talking, your own colleague Senator Roy Blunt dismissing the debt ceiling deadline saying, quote, “the deadline is never really a deadline. I don’t think world markets are going to get roiled and I don’t think our creditors are not going to get paid.” And here’s someone from the far right, Michele Bachmann dismissing the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling. Let’s listen to her now.
MICHELE BACHMANN: Well, first of all it isn’t true that government would default on its debt, because, very simply the Treasury Secretary can pay the interest on the debt first and then from there we have to just prioritize our spending.
MATTHEWS: This, to me, is scary. What’s your view? That these people are willing to go right into armageddon, not face the warning signs. Go right off the cliff and take this country into Greece, into the way the world watches us go down the hill.
SENATOR CLAIRE MCCASKILL: Yeah. It’s a real problem, compromise has become a dirty word and, frankly, our countries has been the greatest country on the planet, because our democracy learned the art of compromise. And now compromise is something the two ends of the spectrums don’t want to see happen and we’re going to suffer for it. You know, the other thing is frustrating about this, Chris, that I think they are trying to tell the American people that when we raise the debt limit we’re asking for permission to spend more money. That’s not true. All we’re doing is making good on the spending that’s already occurred. This would be like going out and buying a new car. These guys all voted for this spending. They all voted for the things that put us in this deficit position and now they’re saying they don’t want to pay the bill. It’s like they bought a new car and don’t want to make payments. It is defaulting, and we will default on obligations our government has, whether it’s the people who are getting a Social Security check or to our military pay or whether it’s to our debt that we have to pay, and all of those things would have serious and significant consequences. People need to quit trying to win elections and start solving the problem.
— Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.