I put the transcript out in the tall grass. Here are notable excerpts.
The show leads with video clips of shameless racial dog whistling by numerous GOP leaders, including their current standard bearer.
Donald Trump: "I would like to have him show his birth certificate."In this excerpt, Matthews seems truly offended by Romney's readiness to stand behind a baldfaced lie in order to stimulate bigots to vote against President Obama.
Newt Gingrich: "If you're for paychecks, you're with us. if you're for food stamps, you're with Obama"
John Sununu: "I wish this president would learn how to be an American."
Mitt Romney: "No one's asked for my birth certificate."
Chris Matthews: Romney defends the welfare ads as accurate, accusing Obama of offering state waivers as a political calculation designed to, quote, shore up his base, which is code for African-American Democrats. So, there you have an ad with all whites in it. Romney comes out himself and says, this is so Obama can feed his base by saying, we'll get rid of those work requirements for people on welfare.In this one, Tweety speculates about the political calculus that caused Romney's Boston braoin trust to go with this kind of messaging:
Chris Matthews: Mitt Romney has to win 60% of white voters and will stop at nothing to shore up every white vote he can. and that includes playing to the lowest card in the deck, which is incredibly racially charged, incendiary rhetoric designed to stoke hatred and foment, i guess, enthusiasm to get folks out to the polls.It is a good thing to see GOP racial bullshit called out by anyone with a voice and a platform. Way to go, Tweety.
H/t to Voter123's diary noting Tweety's sentimental comparison of John McCain defending Obama against the "he's a Arab" woman with the microphone at the McCain rally in 2008, as a genuine reaction by the Senator against the prejudice implicit in her remark, contrasting that McCain moment to the cool and heartless political calculations of the Romney campaign.
>>> welcome back to "hardball." i spoke earlier tonight about this attempt on the right wing by the right wing do delegitimatize president obama. let's take a sampling from what i call the hall of shame, all attempts to declare him, our president, not an american.
>> i would like to have him show his birth certificate.
>> if you're for paychecks, you're with us. if you're for food stamps, you're with obama i wish this president would learn how to be an american.
>> no one's asked for my birth certificate.
>> this talk and false welfare ads is what president obama faces in the next 41 days. alex wagner host of "now" on msnbc and eugene robinson is a pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post." thanks for joining us tonight. you know, i just wonder, why is there so little note of what's clearly a pattern in this campaign? on one side this constant revening the president is not an american. never stops. birtherism, and on the other side, this attempt to suppress the minority vote. it's clearly an attempt to win an election in as ugly as possible way and no one seems to talk about it.
>> well, it's shameful. i think that there -- to some degree there has been a fairly robust discussion about the voter fraud stuff. the democrats and, you know, progressives have managed to beat back republican efforts to disenfranchise thousands if not millions of voters. but the president is not american, under the spell of muss lichl, and the fifth highest documentary of all time which purports the president to be anti-american, kenyan revolutionary in the vein of his father, barack obama sr. this is something the republican party has been furthering since barack obama was a candidate with the jeremiah wright stuff. it's doubling down on incredibly divisive racialized otherized brand of politics that doesn't serve the republicans well this election cycle but really does not serve them well in the long term. this party, i don't see what the future of the republican party is if these are the spokes people, the newt gingrich, the donald trumps of the world.
>> you know, gene, it didn't start here, of course. there was an attempt, nixon what he would say about addly stevens in the '50s, the red scare was used obviously. they weren't one of us. bill clinton was accused of sneaking off to russia, remember that, back when he ran. he was some sort of red. mike dukakis was a guy that wouldn't pledge allegiance to the united states, somehow a card-carrying member of the aclu. all this dark, kind of referencing. they're not really one of us. but then with the ethnic factor, because he has the african name and he's black, the doubling down on this, well, he's not one of us.
>> right. race adds to this, to the armament they're using here. it's a huge factor in this. but what i think is interesting is that this seems to resonate with the hate obama crowd but doesn't seem to be resonating a lot with other folks. and --
>> it already has. but why are -- you cover politics. why do they keep putting out this stuff? why is newt out there the other night, he's the craziest -- not the craziest, the meanest. to use a kid's words, but he is, saying he's not american. sununu who looks like their watch dog, attack dog saying, can't he learn how to be an american? they don't say that about walter mondale, didn't say that about each other. they said that about bob dole.
>> they don't say it in this way. they're throwing this against the wall and hoping it will stick. again, it seems to charge up the people who have already made up their minds, made up their minds years ago.
>> here are the smart guys in -- i guess, boston. mitt romney has been running red meat ads on medicare. this is false adds. this is when he says it's feeding his base, obama.
>> here he is in 1996 president clinton and a bipartisan congress helped end welfare as we know it, by requiring work for welfare. on july 12th president obama quietly announced a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements. under obama's plan you wouldn't are to work or train for a job. they just send you your welfare check. and welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare. mitt romney will restory the work requirement because it works.
>> so all white people. it's fine. that normally wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but when that ad actually ran and hit the air waves romney defended it to " usa today's" susan page and in the interview romney said, quote, romney defends the welfare ads as accurate, accusing obama of offering state waivers as a political calculation designed to, quote, shore up his base, which is code for african-american democrats. so, there you have an ad with all whites in it. romney comes out himself and says, this is so he can feed his base by saying, we'll get rid of those work requirements for people on welfare. can you obama giving a big speech to the guys in the inner city, guess what, ladies and gentlemen, i'm getting rid of the work requirement. yea! it's a totally ridiculous, demeaning idea, demeaning to both recipients of welfare who have to take it and a president accused of using it to shield and trying to get votes with it. it's so demeaning.
>> it's an update of the ronald reagan welfare mean, same raishl racialized politics mitt romney has been playing for the last eight, ten months. this is the -- the welfare requirement, the idea the president is abolishing it, he is taking a gop prescription for reforming welfare and putting it in place, which is giving more power to the states. you know, the details of that, the fact that tons of things the president has embraced are actually rooted in conservative ideology has been a completely lost or disavowed by the republican party. i mean, they -- mitt romney has to win 60% of white voters and will stop at nothing to shore up every white vote he can. and that includes playing to the lowest card in the deck, which is incredibly racially charged, incendiary rhetoric designed to stoke hatred and fullment, i guess, enthusiasm to get folks out to the polls.
>> gene, look at this. every time i see this, i see it infrequently, i cry. i've been accused of being too emotional about politics. four years ago, john mccain stood up to a supporter who called then- senator obama an arab. here's his instantaneous, instinctive reaction. take a look.
>> i have read about him and he's not -- he's a -- he's an arab. he's not --
>> no, ma'am.
>> no, ma'am, no, ma'am. he's a decent, family man, citizen that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. that's what this campaign is all about.
>> yeah, that's called honor. it's called honor. we're not seeing a lot of that. we're not seeing any of that.
>> i haven't seen that on either side in this campaign.
>> john mccain is a genuine guy. disagree with him, agree with him, whatever, it's called honor. the republican party used to believe in that.
>> put it more crudely, there's some crap i won't eat. i'm not going to go along with what i see as is an ethnic campaign, that shouldn't be part of this campaign. i'm not going to go along with what you said. that instinctive no, no, is the greatest american spirit. i'm not going to do that.
>> imagine mitt romney doing that.
>> i would like to see every politician do that once in their life. thank you for coming on, alex wagner. you were great. thank you, gene. we'll be right back.