On Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” made the point that President Barack Obama was willing to negotiate with a rogue element like the Iranian regime on the issue of nuclear weapons, but seems unwilling to when it comes to immigration reform with congressional Republicans.
Partial transcript as follows:
CHUCK TODD, moderator “Meet the Press”: You know, Chris Matthews, if you’re the administration, you know, Sylvia Burwell admitted, they still haven’t marketed health care very well.
MATTHEWS: I agree with that. But I want to go back to the basis, the genesis of this bill. And it’s the same as the fight over immigration. As long as you have an intractable opposition, I mean, I was hoping we could get Orrin Hatch on this health care bill. I was hoping that Mike Enzi, these are all good people, they were negotiating. They all fell off because of fear of the tea party people. Same with immigration. Please God have a meeting between the president and the speaker in the House this week before this–
TODD: You think they need to meet before?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Meeting in public. I’d like it on television. What is your opposition to this immigration bill? Is it we don’t have enough enforcement? I’ll give you more enforcement. Is it hiring rules? We’re going to enforce them. I promise you we’re going to enforce them. What do you want? So you’re absolutely against any kind of amnesty for people who have been here 20, 30 years, absolutely against it?
So what then when the president issues the executive order, people will understand he really tried to negotiate. Let me tell you something, we’re negotiating with Tehran right now. We’re desperately trying to cut a deal over nuclear weapons to the last moment. Why don’t we have negotiations going on right now between the two sides?
TODD: You know, he brings up a point, and I can hear Republicans now echoing, he’ll negotiate with the Iranians, he won’t negotiate with us on immigration.
HELENE COOPER, The New York Times: I think though for the Republicans, though, there’s also–
MATTHEWS: That’s not the way I said it.
TODD: No, I’m telling you how you’re going to get requoted.
TODD: No, you and I both know that.
COOPER: You’re right. You’re absolutely right.
TODD: No, that’s how he’s going to get requoted.
MATTHEWS: But they want to negotiate though, Chuck.
MATTHEWS: Well, they need to tape more television shows. What’s their opposition to immigration?
(h/t RCP Video)
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