MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews called former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs a “robot” for refusing to directly answer whether or not he thought that Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2016.
Gibbs, who is an MSNBC contributor, did his best to dodge Matthews’ questions on Thursday, but Matthews, who is a longtime Hillary admirer, was having none of it. He kept hammering away at Gibbs before finally give up in exasperation:
Matthews: Is she trying to ward off Joe, warn him? “I like you, Joe, but don’t be stupid enough to run against me?” Is that what she’s doing?
Gibbs: I think she is taking advantage of lucrative speaking offers.
Matthews: Okay, well, yeah, but she wasn’t going to do that.
Gibbs: She should…
Matthews: What about Biden? Is she saying, Joe, I like you, don’t run against me?
Gibbs: I believe, honestly, she has no idea what she wants to do.
Matthews: You guys are like robots. You all talk the same way! You think she might not run for president?
Gibbs: I do, because I think it’s 2013, and it’s not…
Matthews: Why wouldn’t she run?
Gibbs: Why would she?
Matthews: Because all her life, she and her husband, this has been a political life. It’s a political life they’ve led,
Matthews then went on to ask how people like Gibbs can say that they don’t know if Clinton is going to run, when every step she takes indicates she is planning to run?
Gibbs said that he estimated the chances of Hillary running at 50-50, to which Matthews replied, “50-50? Give me a break.”
The grilling by Matthews must have reminded Gibbs of his White House days, when he danced around the occasional tough questions posed to him by the press. But with Matthews, an ardent Obama supporter, Gibbs was caught off guard.
Gibbs’ reticence may be due in part to his ties to the Obama/Biden White House, but by not giving Matthews a straight answer, he came off looking disingenuous at best.
For once I agree with Matthews. Give me a break.