MSNBC’s Chris Matthews launched into a heated attack against RNC Chairman Reince Preibus this morning during an appearance on Morning Joe, accusing Mitt Romney and the Republicans of playing the “race card.”
Matthews was particularly incensed about Romney’s joke about his birth certificate, calling it “an embarrassment,” before launching into a rant about the presumptive GOP nominee’s ad attacking the President for undoing welfare reform.
“You can play your little ethnic games and giggle about it,” Matthews lectured Priebus. “When you start talking about work requirements, you know what game you’re playing.
“Everybody knows what game you’re playing; it’s a race card,” Matthews continued. “If your name is Romney and you went to prep school, you’ve gotta brag about it, but this guy (Obama) was born with an African name, he’s gotta live with it.”
Matthews’s MSNBC colleagues had to shut him up, so Priebus could get a word in edgewise. Co-host Joe Scarborough asked him amid the shouting if saying needing a work requirement in welfare equals playing the race card.
Priebus shot back at Matthews, mocking his monologue, repeating comments from the Sunday talk shows, saying that Romney is a native son of Michigan and that politics has descended to a level where “any moment of levity” is frowned upon.
He deflected the charge that Romney had descended into “birtherism” by reminding Matthews that the candidate and the Republican leadership have consistently held that Obama was born in America.
However, that wasn’t good enough for fellow panelist and longtime NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, who attacked the GOP for not rebuking other attacks against Obama, such as those by former White House Chief of Staff John Sununu suggesting that the President doesn’t know what it is like to be an American.
Matthews’s temper flared when Preibus suggested that Obama looks to Europe for guidance, calling his comments “insane” and implied that the RNC chairman was being anti-foreign.
“Garbage, garbage,” Priebus replied.