MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews spent the better part of his evening last night (and this morning) criticizing President Obama over his debate performance in Denver. All of this morning’s surprising post-debate coverage only leaves us to wonder what could have been had President Obama simply followed Chris Matthews’ initial advice: Kick Mitt Romney in the balls.
Citing history, Chris Matthews offered President Obama some “practical” advice on how to handle his first debate against GOP hopeful Mitt Romney on subjects of domestic policy. “Kick him in the balls!” Matthews advised after being asked by host Rachel Maddow what sort of psychological preparation the candidates were going through.
Matthews pointed to a 1960 presidential debate, before which Robert F. Kennedy advised brother John F. Kennedy to pull no punches in the debate with Republican candidate Richard Nixon.
“Bobby Kennedy said to Jack Kennedy on the way out the door to debate Dick Nixon: ‘Kick him in the balls,’” Matthews said. “You know? Sometimes it’s just something like that, something like that.”
“That’s history, not me talking,” he clarified.
“Nixon’s guy, on the other hand, said to him, ‘Erase the assassin’s image.’ Well, that was a real picker-upper for Nixon. Don’t look like the five-o’clock shadow bad guy. Well he didn’t — he just lost. I like the way Bobby handled it better,” concluded Matthews.
If you missed Matthews’ pre-debate advice, this anecdote helps to clarify some comments he made about RFK during his “epic meltdown” after the debate was over. Matthews had said “certainly there was no Bobby Kennedy in the green room before Obama came out tonight.”
Hopefully this story helps Matthews book-end his perspective nicely and curb some of the crazy-calls he’s gotten since last night.
Here’s video of Chris Matthews’ pre-debate advice to President Obama, via Mediaite: