MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews accused Republicans of trying to seize control of debates to avoid questions like “Do you believe in evolution?” And “hands up if you agree” questions and only want “white, middle-aged, and minimally well off” people to vote on Monday.
Matthews, after accusing Republicans for trying to “stop people from voting” such as voter ID laws, said, “more recently the Republican Party officialdom have tried to control the electoral process in another way, hugging control of the debates. Under the leadership of party chairman Reince Priebus, the same man who has overseen the voter suppression effort, the goal has been to ensure that only the media organizations the party prefers should be keeping order and asking questions at Republican presidential debates. Well, the reason for this, which the party has admitted, is to avoid having uncomfortable questions being asked, questions like, ‘Do you believe in evolution?’ Whatever, the fact is, and the Republican leader has asserted it is a fact, that there will be no such questions about science, no ‘hands up if you agree’ questions asked period. That’s the way they want it. Okay, so now the question one the table is whether the Republicans should allow themselves only to be asked questions by people they believe are at least as conservative as the most conservative among them. This is what one candidate said, [Sen.] Ted Cruz (R-TX) is proposing that the three moderators be Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Sean Hannity. Well, that would be fun, wouldn’t it? But what happens when you have only the voters you want voting, white, middle-aged, and minimally well off, when you have debates run only by the party itself, all topics safely predictable, and even have the questions all coming from people guaranteed to have opinions on the outside rail of Republican thinking. Who do you blame defeat on then?”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett