Chris Matthews Confronts RNC Chairman: ‘Obama Being A Foreigner Is The Thing Your Party Has Been Pushing’

A few people emailed me to ask had I seen the Matthews and Priebus altercation.  I actually saw the video for the first time about an hour ago.

Here’s a progressive blog’s take on the story:

Think Progress

Chris Matthews tore into RNC Chairman Reince Priebus during an appearance on Morning Joe on Monday, accusing the Romney campaign of “playing that little ethnic card” in its false attacks against welfare reform and jokes about birtherism. “You can play your games and giggle about it….[but] Obama being a foreigner is the thing your party has been pushing. [Campaign co-chair John] Sununu pushed it, everyone is pushing it in your party,” Matthews declared.

The MSNBC host criticized Mitt Romney’s birther joke, his consistent claims that Obama imported his domestic policies, and argued that the campaign has sought to foreignize the president.  Priebus defended the party by claiming that Obama’s health and economic policies are European, but Matthews quickly dismissed the claim:

PRIEBUS: But I think Obama’s policies have created a sense that for whatever reason, he’s looking to guidance [from Europe] as far as health care is concerned, as far as our spending is concerned …

MATTHEWS: What? Where do you get this from? This is insane! You mean the Keynesian fiscal policy — you mean the fact that every president we’ve had has tried to offset the economic cycle with stimulus going the other direction is somehow European? … What’s this got to do with Europe and this foreignization of the guy? You’re doing it now! Saying he’s influenced by foreign influences? You’re playing that card again. What’s this European thing of yours? What are you up to with this constant that he’s not really domestic?

PRIEBUS: You don’t think the take-over of our health care system called Obamacare is a problem for most Americans?

MATTHEWS: Let me tell you some history, sir. Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt pushed for that, Truman pushed for that, were they all under the influence of Europe? Where do you get this from?

PRIEBUS: I’m not going to get into a shouting match with Chris, so you guys can just move on.

MATTHEWS: Because you’re losing, that’s why.

PRIEBUS: No, I’m not losing.

The Romney campaign promoted the “foreigner” angle in July, when Sununu claimed that Obama “has no idea how the American system functions…because he spent his early years in Hawaii smoking something, spent the next set of years in Indonesia.” He later claimed, “I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” before apologizing for the remarks.

During a rally in Pennsylvania, however, Romney doubled down, calling Obama’s policies “extraordinarily foreign.”


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The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama

This is an issue that should be addressed by those involved in the plot to do nothing that the newly elected president proposed to Congress.

It’s been going on for three and a half years and the American People need to know the truth.   This article should be passed on to everyone,  Right leaning or Left leaning.

Time Magazine’s Swampland – John Grunwald

TIME just published “The Party of No,” an article adapted from my new book, The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It reveals some of my reporting on the Republican plot to obstruct President Obama before he even took office, including secret meetings led by House GOP whip Eric Cantor (in December 2008) and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (in early January 2009) in which they laid out their daring (though cynical and political) no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to a popular President-elect during an economic emergency. “If he was for it,” former Ohio Senator George Voinovich explained, “we had to be against it.” The excerpt includes a special bonus nugget of Mitt Romney dissing the Tea Party.

But as we say in the sales world: There’s more! I’m going to be blogging some of the news and larger themes from the book here at, and I’ll kick it off with more scenes from the early days of the Republican strategy of No. Read on to hear what Joe Biden’s sources in the Senate GOP were telling him, some candid pillow talk between a Republican staffer and an Obama aide, and a top Republican admitting his party didn’t want to “play.” I’ll start with a scene I consider a turning point in the Obama era, when the new President went to the Hill to extend his hand and the GOP spurned it.

On Jan. 27, 2009, House Republican leader John Boehner opened his weekly conference meeting with an announcement: Obama would make his first visit to the Capitol around noon, to meet exclusively with Republicans about his economic-recovery plan. “We’re looking forward to the President’s visit,” Boehner said.

The niceties ended there, as Boehner turned to the $815 billion stimulus bill that House Democrats had just unveiled. Boehner complained that it would spend too much, too late, on too many Democratic goodies. He urged his members to trash it on cable, on YouTube, on the House floor: “It’s another run-of-the-mill, undisciplined, cumbersome, wasteful Washington spending bill … I hope everyone here will join me in voting no!

Cantor’s whip staff had been planning a “walk-back” strategy in which they would start leaking that 50 Republicans might vote yes, then that they were down to 30 problem children, then that they might lose 20 or so. The idea was to convey momentum. “You want the members to feel like, Oh, the herd is moving. I’ve got to move with the herd,” explains Rob Collins, Cantor’s chief of staff at the time. That way, even if a dozen Republicans ultimately defected, it would look as if Obama failed to meet expectations.

But when he addressed the conference, Cantor adopted a different strategy. “We’re not going to lose any Republicans,” he declared. His staff was stunned.

“We’re like, Uhhhhh, we have to recalibrate,” Collins recalls.

Afterward, Cantor’s aides asked if he was sure he wanted to go that far out on a limb. Zero was a low number. Centrists and big-spending appropriators from Obama-friendly districts would be sorely tempted to break ranks. If Cantor promised unanimity and failed to deliver, the press would have the story it craved: Republicans divided, dysfunction junction, still clueless after two straight spankings.

But Cantor said yes, he meant zero. He was afraid that if the Democrats managed to pick off two or three Republicans, they’d be able to slap a “bipartisan” label on the bill. “We can get there,” he said. “If we don’t get there, we can try like hell to get there.”

Shortly before 11 a.m., the AP reported that Boehner had urged Republicans to oppose the stimulus. Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs handed Obama a copy of the story in the Oval Office, just before he left for the Hill to make his case for the stimulus, an unprecedented visit to the opposition after just a week in office. “You know, we still thought this was on the level,” Gibbs says. Obama political aide David Axelrod says that after the President left, White House aides were buzzing about the insult. And they didn’t even know that Cantor had vowed to whip a unanimous vote — which, ultimately, he did.

“It was stunning that we’d set this up and, before hearing from the President, they’d say they were going to oppose this,” Axelrod says. “Our feeling was, we were dealing with a potential disaster of epic proportions that demanded cooperation. If anything was a signal of what the next two years would be like, it was that.”

Continue reading here…

Republicans to declare ‘We Built This!’ in stadium built with government funds


Tampa Bay Times Forum arena

Sometimes I believe the Republican Party as a whole suffers from foot in mouth disease.

The latest declaration coming from Mitt Romney and the GOP is yet another bit of irony…

The Raw Story

The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced this week that it would craft its convention theme around President Barack Obama’s “You didn’t build that” remark — which was taken out of context to suggest that business owners “didn’t build” their businesses — and the party will unveil that message in an arena that was mostly built with government funds.

The Daily Dolt noted on Wednesday that part of the GOP message may be undermined by the fact that the Tampa Bay Times Forum arena — where the convention is being held — was financed with $86 million in public money.

During a campaign event in Virginia last month, Obama had pointed out the importance of the government’s role in providing infrastructure and education as a foundation for small business success.

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help,” the president explained. “There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

In a series of ads and speeches, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign selectively edited those remarks by removing the reference to “roads and bridges,” making it seem like the president was dismissing the success of small business owners.

“In speeches and videos, the Romney campaign has repeatedly distorted Obama’s words,”PolitiFact wrote. “By plucking two sentences out of context, Romney twists the president’s remarks and ignores their real meaning. … Romney and his supporters have misled viewers and given a false impression. For that, we rate the claim False.”

The RNC is now taking those attacks to the next level by making “We Built This!” the central theme of their convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum arena, according to Fox News.

Originally called The Ice Palace, the arena was built in 1996 at a cost of $139 million, 62 percent of which was publicly financed.

“Kind of kills that idea that it doesn’t take a village, right?” The Atlantic‘s Alexander Abad-Santos observed.


Military Terror Plot: Murder Case Uncovers Terror Plot By ‘Militia’ Within U.S. Military

Military Terror Plot

This should come as no surprise…

The Huffington Post

Prosecutors say a murder case against four soldiers in Georgia has revealed they formed an anarchist militia within the U.S. military with plans to overthrow the federal government.

One of the accused troops, Pfc. Michael Burnett, pleaded guilty Monday to manslaughter and gang charges in the December slayings of former soldier Michael Roark and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Tiffany York.

Burnett told a Long County judge that Roark, who had just left the Army, knew of the militia group’s plans and was killed because he was “a loose end.”

Prosecutor Isabel Pauley says the group bought $87,000 worth of guns and bomb-making materials and plotted to take over Fort Stewart, bomb targets in nearby Savannah and Washington state, as well as assassinate the president.