Remember when during MSNBC’s live coverage of the 2008 presidential primary elections, after the speeches of Barack Obama and John McCain had aired, Chris Matthews expressed his admiration for Obama’s speaking skills saying, “It’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”
It’s safe to say for Matthews, the thrill is gone after last nights first of three debates between Prsident Obama and Mitt Romney.
“Tonight wasn’t an MSNBC debate tonight, was it?” Chris Matthews said after the debate concluded.
“I don’t know what he was doing out there. He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. Romney, on the other hand, came in with a campaign. He had a plan, he was going to dominate the time, he was going to be aggressive, he was going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively, he was going to relish the evening, enjoying it,” Matthews said.
“Here’s my question for Obama: I know he likes saying he doesn’t watch cable television but maybe he should start. Maybe he should start. I don’t know how he let Romney get away with the crap he throughout tonight about Social Security,” Matthews complained.
Matthews then demanded that President Obama start watching cable news, specifically his program.
“Where was Obama tonight? He should watch — well, not just Hardball, Rachel, he should watch you, he should watch the Reverend Al, he should watch Lawrence. He would learn something about this debate. There’s a hot debate going on in this country. You know where it’s been held? Here on this network is where we’re having the debate,” Matthews said.
“We have our knives out,” Matthews said, admitting his network is trying their best to defend Obama and his policies. “We go after the people and the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in their disarmed.”
“He was like, ‘Oh an hour and half? I think I can get through this thing. And I don’t even look at this guy.’ Whereas Romney — I love the split-screen — staring at Obama, addressing him like prey. He did it just right. ‘I’m coming at an incumbent. I got to beat him. You‘ve got to beat the champ and I’m going to beat him tonight. And I don’t care what this guy, the moderator, whatever he thinks he is because I’m going to ignore him,” Matthews said.
“What was Romney doing?” Matthews asked. “He was winning.”
“If he does five more of these nights, forget it,” Matthews added. “Obama should watch MSNBC, my last point. He will learn something every night on this show and all these shows. This stuff we’re watching, it’s like first grade for most of us. We know all this stuff.”