MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who four years ago famously said that he felt a thrill running up his leg, was completely baffled by Obama’s performance at the first presidential debate on Wednesday night.
Earlier in the evening, on his show Hardball, Matthews was optimistic that Obama would do just fine against a “robotic” Mitt Romney. But as the debate unfolded it was Obama who fell flat, leading Matthews to uncharacteristically lash out at Obama during the post-debate discussion on MSNBC.
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, had 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 also couldn’t figure out how Obama just “let Romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight on Social Security,” throwing out numbers that he thinks Obama should have used to counter Romney.
Then Matthews asked the burning questions of the night:
Where was Obama tonight? What was he doing tonight? He went in there disarmed. He was like, I’ll wait an hour and a half, and I can get through this thing.
Matthews said while Obama was seemingly disengaged, Romney pounced , going after the President and as a result won the debate.
He added another sour note to the evening for Democrats, by telling Ed Schultz that if he does five more of these nights, “forget it,” referring to Obama’s chances of winning reelection.