Thursday on MSNBC, after Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton gave a speech that was very harshly critical of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, “Hardball” host Chris Matthews praised Clinton for the speech.
He described it as a “masterpiece” and “patriotic as hell,” adding that it was possibly a play to appeal to neoconservatives.
“Well, it was a masterpiece,” Matthews said. “It was a great speech. Very well constructed. Patriotic as hell. Those flags were not there by accident. This was a speech which was nationalistic, just like Trump is with some more sophistication of course. I did think it was a speech that could have been given before the Vietnam War. It was much more in the pre-Vietnam tradition of the Democratic Party. A speech Hubert Humphrey or Scoop Jackson might have given — very strong on defense, no apologies for overreaching and U.S. foreign policy. In her case, no apologies for supporting the Iraq War, supporting intervention in Libya and then in Syria, no apologies for that. Certainly a speech that Bernie Sanders would never give in a million years. I think Trump’s going to be worried by this speech because, as I said, it was patriotic, nationalistic, talked about our country and it values, but I do think it had a couple interesting salients to it.”
“One was the people in play, people like Bill Kristol for example, the classic neoconservative editor of The Weekly Standard, son of Irving Kristol, there’s that whole tradition of very strong Middle East policy, hawkish policy on behalf of Israel, she reached for those voters too, those very smart opinion writers in the newspapers,” he continued. “I think she was going for Charles Krauthammer today. I think she was going for the people who don’t like Trump instinctively because he’s anti-intellectualism and they’re going to — she’s going to those people today, right now, we just heard it, talking about our moral obligation to Israel, her absolute distrust of Iran, very strong appeal to the neocon movement which is right now, as we know, reaching out for an alternative even to this guy David French as an alternative to Donald Trump. So there is tremendous virgin territory there for a Democratic candidate to reach over, pull over some of that more hawkish people in the center of the country politically, like I mentioned the neocon writers. I think it’s very powerful speech, exquisitely written.”
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