Chris Matthews, the bombastic liberal host of Hardball on MSNBC, got a dose of his own medicine last week when he interviewed Iowa talk-show host Simon Conway about the upcoming Iowa Caucuses.
Matthews started off by introducing Conway and asking him what the feeling was in Iowa for the candidates. But before talking about the caucuses, Conway chose to expose Matthews’ political leanings.
Conway: First of all it’s always a pleasure to welcome a Democrat to the Simon Conway show, Chris, so you’re very welcome.
Matthews: What does that mean? Are we all giving our party labels out here? Is that, are you giving me yours? Or you don’t want to give it?
You want to give me one but don’t give yourself one.
That’s not fair.
Conway: Chris, I’m not a Republican, never have been, and never will be. I keep…
Matthews: So you give labels but you don’t assign one to yourself. That’s very clever.
Conway: Well there isn’t one. I just want to make sure that we’re starting with some honesty. You’re clearly working for the re-election for Barack Obama…
Matthews: I just want to make sure…
Matthews: This is going to go very long here if you play this game of assigning, what is your political voting record then? How do you vote last time?
Conway answered that he voted for McCain while holding his nose, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement for the GOP and doesn’t necessarily make him a Republican.
Matthews was clearly surprised by Conway’s comments, and was not happy. It certainly should come as no surprise to anyone that Matthews is using his shows and his influence to help Obama get re-elected, something he never denied.
Conway managed to do what few of Matthews guests have been able to do — get under his skin and put him on the defensive, if only momentarily, and make him look like a child who was going to pick up all his toys and go home if he didn’t get his way.
The conversation did eventually turn to what was happening politically in Iowa with the GOP presidential field, but by then the damage was already done — to Matthews.