Chris Matthews suffered an intense backlash for his comments about grieving Benghazi victim mother, Patricia Smith. The MSNBC host said allowing Smith to appear “ruined” the first night of the convention and claimed Hillary Clinton was not at all to blame for the deaths in Benghazi.
Patricia Smith’s speech brought tears to the eyes of full-grown men and women at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Hundreds of people on the hall floor repeatedly wiped their eyes as the woman on the stage shared how fervently she had asked for answers about her son’s death. Smith made it clear she personally blamed Hillary Clinton for getting him killed.
The mother of the Benghazi victim called Clinton a liar for blaming the attack on a video, but at almost the same moment, reportedly emailed her daughter and said the American interests in Libya were being attacked by terrorists.
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) July 19, 2016
“I blame Hillary Clinton personally for the death of my son,” Pat Smith said. “In an email to her daughter shortly after the attack, Hillary Clinton blamed it on terrorism. But when I saw Hillary Clinton at Sean’s coffin ceremony, just days later, she looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible. Since then, I have repeatedly asked Hillary Clinton to explain to me the real reason why my son is dead. I’m still waiting.”
Smith went on to say her repeated calls to the State Department were ignored. According to the grief-stricken mother, she was told no answer could be given to her because she was not a member of Sean’s immediate family.
Pat Smith’s Republican National Convention Speech
Even as members of the Republican National Convention crowd were struggling to regain their composure, Chris Matthews embarked on rambling commentary lambasting Smith’s speech.
“I don’t understand why the Republicans would choose to put this on prime-time television when they have such wonderful stories of American heroism to speak to the American people. I think it was wrong,” Matthews said on live television, according to a report by the Hill.
Patricia Smith’s comments had followed an equally emotional and stirring speech by lone survivor Marcus Luttrell. The theme of the first night of the Republican National Convention was “Make America Safe Again” and featured speeches by not just elected officials, but veterans who voiced concerns about the safety of the nation, as well as Hillary Clinton’s ability to handle such life-threatening and pressing matters.
“I don’t care what that woman up there, the mother, has felt,” Chris Matthews also said, sparking nearly immediate calls for a boycott of his MSNBC show on social media. “Her emotions are her own. But for the country in choosing a leader, it’s wrong to have someone get up there and tell a lie about Hillary Clinton. It’s not true. It’s logically not true. I think it’s wrong that they ruined their evening with this.”
Matthews deemed Smith’s words a “gross accusation” against Clinton, Mediate reports.
Smith said her son had called her the evening before the Benghazi attack and said, “Mom, I am going to die. All security has been pulled from the embassy.”
The mother of the Benghazi victim also reportedly said when he asked why the security detail was so slight, he was never given a response.
Pat Smith said Sean was a “wonderful son.” He was Patricia’s only child. Sean Smith left behind his wife, Heather, and two children, Samantha and Nathan, now 10 and 11, respectively.
What do you think of Patricia Smith’s speech, and the response by Chris Matthews that has sparked calls for a boycott of his MSNBC show?
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