MSNBC’s Chris Matthews suggested Saturday that the elitist attitudes of top Democrats, like former President Barack Obama and failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, are partially what drove working white voters to vote for President Trump.
Without naming names, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” told a crowd at Florida’s Miami Dade College that past comments made by Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton had alienated white working Americans.
“Ever since we started this Archie Bunker thing in the early ’70s, making fun of white working people, we kissed them goodbye,” Mr. Matthews said in a C-SPAN clip flagged by The Washington Examiner. “You make fun of people, you look down on them, they get the message. You call them ‘deplorables,’ they hear it. You bet they hear it.
“You say they cling to their guns and religion? ‘Oh yeah? I cling to my religion. OK. I’m a little person, and you’re a big person. Thank you, I’ll be voting for the other guy this time,'” he said.
Mrs. Clinton, the former Democratic presidential nominee, famously outraged conservatives during the 2016 race when she declared that half of Mr. Trump’s supporters belonged in a “basket of deplorables.” Similarly, Mr. Obama infuriated the right when he criticized working-class Midwest voters as “bitter” Americans who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Mr. Matthews criticized his fellow Democrats while promoting his new book, “Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit,” telling the crowd that he admired Robert F. Kennedy’s genuine empathy and ability to relate to the everyman.
“If Bobby Kennedy and your spirit is running against Donald Trump this year, you got a good candidate,” he said.
“I think Bobby is more interesting than [former President John F. Kennedy] because he’s more like us, he’s accessible. He wasn’t gifted. He wasn’t elegant,” he said. “And maybe that’s why he understood the overlooked.”
Mr. Matthews said the Democratic Party is in desperate need of a empathetic leader like Robert F. Kennedy to run against Mr. Trump in 2020.
“Our leaders, and I’m not just pointing to the one at the top, I’m talking about all the ones in Congress, they read out statements written by staff people who are bored to death,” he said. “Cold toast. That’s what we get from these people.
“The other day when Trump came out with that tax bill of his, [House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi said, or was it Chuck Schumer — it doesn’t matter who reads this stuff, it’s the same words — ‘It’s a Ponzi scheme.’ Oh, you original little person,” Mr. Matthews said.
“I am so tired of these people,” he added. “Say something human. Say something that means something to you. Relate to people about what this tax thing will mean to their lives. They don’t even bother. It’s too much work. They’re too busy raising money, kissing ass, which is what they do.”
Mr. Matthews, a longtime Democrat and outspoken critic of Mr. Trump, didn’t go easy on the president either. He said Mr. Trump has been stoking division in the country much to his own benefit.
“We do not have unity because the person at the top wants division,” he said. “And the people against him play the same game, but I don’t hold them as accountable because they’re reacting. But both sides politically love to play the division game. [It] gets more money into the coffers.”
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