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Thursday, September 02, 2004

Miller Vs. Matthews

Matthews has lost all my respect for him. I used to think he was not that bad. I never really watched him that much, but whenever zi did I didn;t mthink he was that bad. Until he started this meltdown. He put words into Michele Malkins mouth, and made a fool of himself with Zell Miller. Just look at this confrontation with Miller. Hattip to Command Post.
Miller v. Matthews

Very interesting exchange between Sen. Zel Miller and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews last night.

Love this part:

MATTHEWS: OK. Do you believe now—do you believe, Senator, truthfully, that John Kerry wants to defend the country with spitballs? Do you believe that?

MILLER: That was a metaphor, wasn‘t it? Do you know what a metaphor is?

MATTHEWS: Well, what do you mean by a metaphor?

Full transcript of interview below.

MATTHEWS: I want to ask you about the most powerful line in your speech. And it had so many.

“No pair has been more wrong, more loudly, more often than the two Senators from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.”

Do you believe that John Kerry and Ted Kennedy really only believe in defending America with spitballs?

MILLER: Well, I certainly don‘t believe they want to defend America by putting the kind of armor and the kind of equipment that we have got to have out there for our troops. I mean, nothing could be clearer than that, than what John Kerry did when he voted against that $87 billion in appropriations, that would have provided protective armor for our troops and armored vehicles.

MATTHEWS: All right, let me ask you. Senator, you are the expert. Many times, as a conservative Republican, you have had to come out on the floor and obey party whips and vote against big appropriations passed by the Democrats when they were in power.

You weren‘t against feeding poor people. You weren‘t against Social Security. You weren‘t against a lot of programs that, because of the nature of parliamentary procedure and combat, you had to vote against the whole package. Didn‘t you many times vote against whole packages of spending, when you would have gladly gone for a smaller package?

MILLER: Well, I didn‘t make speeches about them and I didn‘t put them in my platform.

Right here is what John Kerry put out as far as his U.S. Senate platform, was, he was talking about he wanted to cancel the M.X. missile, the B-1 bomber, the anti-satellite system. This is not voting for something that was in a big bill.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Which of those systems was effective in either Afghanistan

or Iraq? The M.X. certainly wasn‘t, thank God, nor was the other

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: Look, this is front and—wait, this is front and back, and it‘s two pages. I have got more documentation here than they have got in the New York Public Library and the Library of Congress.

MATTHEWS: OK.

MILLER: I knew you was going to be coming with all of that stuff.

And I knew that these people from the Kerry campaign would be coming with all this kind of stuff.

That‘s just baloney. Look at the record. A man‘s record is what he is.

MATTHEWS: I agree.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: A man‘s campaign rhetoric—what?

MATTHEWS: I‘m just asking you, Senator, do you mean to say—I know there‘s rhetoric in campaigns. I just want to know, do you mean to say that you really believe that John Kerry and Ted Kennedy do not believe in defending the country?

MILLER: Well, look at their votes.

MATTHEWS: I‘m just asking you to bottom-line it for me.

MILLER: Wait a minute. I said I didn‘t question their patriotism.

MATTHEWS: No. Do you believe that they don‘t believe in defending the country?

MILLER: I question their judgment.

What?

MATTHEWS: Do you believe they want to defend the country?

MILLER: Look, I applaud what John Kerry did as far as volunteering to go to Vietnam. I applaud what he did when he volunteered for combat. I admire that, and I respect that. And I acknowledge that. I have said that many, many times.

MATTHEWS: Right.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: But I think his record is atrocious.

MATTHEWS: Well, let me ask you, when Democrats come out, as they often do, liberal Democrats, and attack conservatives, and say they want to starve little kids, they want to get rid of education, they want to kill the old people…

MILLER: I am not saying that. Wait a minute.

MATTHEWS: That kind of rhetoric is not educational, is it?

MILLER: Wait a minute.

Now, this is your program. And I am a guest on your program.

MATTHEWS: Yes, sir.

MILLER: And so I want to try to be as nice as I possibly can to you. I wish I was over there, where I could get a little closer up into your face.

(LAUGHTER)

MILLER: But I don‘t have to stand here and listen to that kind of stuff. I didn‘t say anything about not feeding poor kids. What are you doing?

MATTHEWS: No, I‘m saying that when you said tonight—I just want you to…

MILLER: Well, you are saying a bunch of baloney that didn‘t have

anything to do with what I said up there on the

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: No, no.

MATTHEWS: OK. Do you believe now—do you believe, Senator, truthfully, that John Kerry wants to defend the country with spitballs? Do you believe that?

MILLER: That was a metaphor, wasn‘t it? Do you know what a metaphor is?

MATTHEWS: Well, what do you mean by a metaphor?

MILLER: Wait a minute. He certainly does not want to defend the country with the B-1 bomber or the B-2 bomber or the Harrier jet or the Apache helicopter or all those other things that I mentioned. And there were even more of them in here.

You‘ve got to quit taking these Democratic talking points and using what they are saying to you.

MATTHEWS: No, I am using your talking points and asking you if you really believe them.

MILLER: Well, use John Kerry‘s talking points from the—from what he has had to say on the floor of the Senate, where he talked about them being occupiers, where he put out this whenever he was running for the U.S. Senate about what he wanted to cancel. Cancel to me means to do away with.

MATTHEWS: Well, what did you mean by the following.

MILLER: I think we ought to cancel this interview.

MATTHEWS: Well, I don‘t mean…

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Well, that would be my loss, Senator. That would be my loss.

Let me ask you about this, because I think you have a view on the role of reporters in the world. You have said and it has often been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. Was there not…

MILLER: Do you believe that?

MATTHEWS: Well, of course it‘s true.

MILLER: Do you believe that?

MATTHEWS: But it‘s a statement that nobody would have challenged. Why did you make it? It seems like no one would deny what you said. So what‘s your point?

MILLER: Well, it evidently got a rise out of you.

MATTHEWS: Well, I think it‘s a

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: Because you are a reporter.

MATTHEWS: That‘s right.

MILLER: You didn‘t have anything to do with freedom of the press.

MATTHEWS: Well, you could argue it was not nurses who defended the freedom of nursing. Why did you single out freedom of the press to say it was the soldiers that defended it and not the reporters? We all know that. Why did you say it?

MILLER: Well, because I thought it needed to be said at this particular time, because I wanted to come on…

MATTHEWS: Because you could get an applause line against the media at a conservative convention.

MILLER: No, I said it because it was—you‘re hopeless. I wish I was over there.

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: In fact, I wish that we lived in—I wish we lived in the

day

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: I‘ve got to warn you, we are in a tough part of town over here.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS: But I do recommend you come over, because I like you.

Let me tell you this.

MILLER: Chris.

MATTHEWS: If a Republican Senator broke ranks and—all right, I‘m sorry.

A Republican Senator broke ranks and came over and spoke for the Democrats, would you respect him?

MILLER: Yes, of course I would.

MATTHEWS: Why?

MILLER: I have seen that happen from time to time. Look, I believe…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: What does Jim Jeffords say to you?

MILLER: Wait a minute.

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Jim Jeffords switched parties after getting elected.

MILLER: If you‘re going to ask a question…

MATTHEWS: Well, it‘s a tough question. It takes a few words.

MILLER: Get out of my face.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MILLER: If you are going to ask me a question, step back and let me answer.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Senator, please.

MILLER: You know, I wish we…

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MILLER: I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel.

(LAUGHTER)

MILLER: Now, that would be pretty good.

Don‘t ask me—don‘t pull that…

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Can you can come over? I need you, Senator. Please come over.

MILLER: Wait a minute. Don‘t pull that kind of stuff on me, like you did that young lady when you had her there, browbeating her to death. I am not her. I am not her.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: Let me tell you, she was suggesting that John Kerry purposely shot himself to win a medal. And I was trying to correct the record.

MILLER: You get in my face, I am going to get back in your face.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: The only reason you are doing it is because you are standing way over there in Herald Square.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Senator, Senator, can I speak softly to you? I would really like you to…

MILLER: What? No, no, no, because you won‘t give me a chance to answer. You ask these questions and then you just talk over what I am trying to answer, just like you did that woman the other day.

MATTHEWS: Well, Senator…

MILLER: I don‘t know why I even came on this program.

MATTHEWS: Well, I am glad you did.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you this about John Kerry‘s war record.

MILLER: Well, are you going to shut up after you ask me?

(LAUGHTER)

MILLER: Or are you going to give me a chance to answer it?

MATTHEWS: Yes, sir.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: I am going to give you a chance to answer.

You used very strong words tonight about the Democratic candidate, much stronger than you are using with me. And they will be remembered a lot longer than anything you say to me now. So I am not really worried about what you say now, except that this country was promised unity after the last election by the president that you are supporting. And he urged the country to come together. Do you think you helped that cause tonight?

MILLER: I think I helped the cause of trying to tell the American people why John Kerry is unfit for the presidency and why we need to keep George W. Bush in as the president, because it‘s the way that we can keep this nation more secure and my family more safe.

MATTHEWS: Did I ask you about your role in the Democratic Party, because you have caused such a hit tonight, because you are a man of the Democratic Party? Long before this election, you had to watch as a Southern conservative the nomination by your party of people like George McGovern, Fritz Mondale, Jimmy Carter, liberal after liberal after liberal, including Mike Dukakis, perhaps the most liberal of them all. What caused you to cross the aisle tonight?

MILLER: By coming to Washington and seeing firsthand what a mess it is and how far out the Senate Democrats are.

They are off the chart as far as being with the mainstream of America. I think the straw that broke the camel‘s back was the homeland security measure, when, time after time, John Kerry and the Democrats put collective bargaining above homeland security. That did it for me.

MATTHEWS: Well, that did it for Max Cleland as well, didn‘t it?

MILLER: It surely did. And probably Jean Carnahan.

And nobody is to blame, except—well, they are to blame because they voted that way. But who is really to blame is Tom Daschle for insisting that they do it 11 times over a four-months period. It was dumb.

MATTHEWS: And, well, you could argue that it was politically dumb of Max Cleland to support the labor unions in Georgia against what looked like the national interests. My question is, is it good for America to impugn that vote as a vote against the security of this country?

MILLER: That vote was not impugned. He did not get defeated because of that ad that you like to talk about. You can‘t vote with Tom Daschle 85 percent of the time and be expected to be able to be reelected in Georgia. You know that much about Georgia and the South.

MATTHEWS: Well, sir, I also know the—and I completely agree with the need to get reelected as a statesman. Jefferson said the first order of a statesman was to get elected.

I am just wondering if you think tonight‘s speech and advertisements that show people like Max Cleland standing next to Saddam Hussein are helping bring this country together?

MILLER: That didn‘t have anything to do with Max Cleland‘s defeat.

We have already—we have already beat that dog to death.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: Well, maybe the war did that, too.

But thank you very much for coming here tonight. I hope we can have a more civil conversation in closer terms. I would love you to come tonight. In fact, you can meet with Joe Scarborough, who will probably be nicer to you.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: But we will both try to get the truth out of the conversation.

And I feel bad that you are upset with me, Senator. I have never had this kind of a fight with you before.

MILLER: I know it.

MATTHEWS: I think you misheard me. But please come over tomorrow night. We‘ve got a convention ending.

And, by the way, you will help our ratings tremendously if you come over tomorrow night, because everybody thinks you are going to beat me up.

(LAUGHTER)

MATTHEWS: But since somebody tried to do that last night, I don‘t think it‘s going to be a surprise.

WATTS: Hey, Chris, can I say

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: J.C. Watts wants to talk to you, Senator.

MILLER: All right.

WATTS: Hey, Senator, this is J.C. Watts.

MILLER: Hey, J.C.

WATTS: You can put your feet under my dinner table any day of the week.

(LAUGHTER)

MILLER: Thank you. Thank you.

MATTHEWS: Well, I guess everybody loves the senator.

MILLER: Good to be with you.

MATTHEWS: Hey, it‘s great having you on. Let‘s be friends. Let‘s be friends.

MILLER: See you later.

MATTHEWS: Thank you.

Well, that was unexpected turn of events.

(LAUGHTER)

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