Chris Matthews: Syria War Vote Needed ‘To Save President’s Hide’ [Video]

MSNBC host Chris Matthews said this morning that President Obama has put his fellow Democrats in a wicked position over the looming vote for the use of force in Syria.

Matthews is usually in Obama’s corner on most things, but apparently not Syria. The journalist is perhaps best known for admitting in 2008 that he felt a thrill go up his leg when Barack Obama gave a speech.

Speaking with Morning Joe Scarborough, Matthews noted how some ordinarily anti-war Democrats are lining up behind the president’s proposed military action in Syria, while many Republicans who generally go along with overseas deployments are opposed to the resolution. The authorization for the president to launch a missile strike on Syria has become quite partisan, he and Joe agreed.

In the House, it appears that this time that relatively few Republicans will vote in favor of the authorization, putting the Democrats in a “wicked position,” Matthews declared. GOP House Speaker John Boehner will only be able to “corral” a few votes to go ahead with the mission, he predicted

“So you’ll have minority Republican vote, and [Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi’s going to have to make up the difference with the minority caucus. She’s going to have to come in with a supermajority of Democrats to support their Democratic president. This is a wicked position they have put her in. Maybe she can meet the standard. But I don’t know whether [Chief of Staff Denis] McDonough and the president walking along the south lawn the other day were thinking about the endgame… I think the Democrats are going to be forced to [politically] sacrifice men and women who really, really don’t want to vote for this. They’re going to have to vote for it to save the president’s hide. That’s a bad position to put your party in.”

Matthews observed that many Democrats supported the Vietnam War under Lyndon Johnson but turned against it when Richard Nixon became president. On his own MSNBC show on Tuesday, the political pundit criticized the proposed missile strike on Syria because “the only thing we really know is we’ll be killing poor people, committing an act of war with this notion that somehow it’s smoke signals.” On Fox & Friends this morning, US Sen. Rand Paul — who is on the opposite end of the political spectrum from Matthews — similarly noted that civil deaths are awful and tragic, regardless of what weapons are used, and that 100,000 people have died in Syria as a result of conventional weapons.

Last week, Matthews — who then seemed more supportive of military action in Syria — offered up the preposterous claim that Adolph Hitler “never used chemical weapons”.