Chris Matthews in 2007: Obama was "born in Indonesia"; "his Islamic background"
Apparently Chris Matthews is now a "Birther", because on the December 19, 2007 edition of Hardball he said that Barack Obama was "born in Indonesia" and referenced "his Islamic background". That doesn't mean that just because Matthews said it that Obama was indeed born there or is/was a Muslim. However, it does illustrate yet again just how fluid the facts can be depending on who's providing the facts.
Matthews said that in the context of discussing whether Hillary Clinton and her surrogate Bob Kerrey were playing up Obama's Indonesian and Muslim background in an attempt to undercut his candidacy. Was Matthews doing his part? Needless to say, it would be inconceivable for Matthews to say such a thing nowadays without his producers forcing an immediate correction. Apparently at the end of 2007 it slipped right past everyone; as we now know, everything Obama has said about his past is 100% accurate.
UPDATE: For irony's sake, I added a video from July 2009 featuring Matthews badgering Rep. John Campbell over this issue while waving "Obama's birth certificate" (actually, a print-out of a picture from Obama's site). Maybe the July 2009 Matthews should have a talk with the December 2007 version.
Excerpt from transcript follows:
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.
So, what else is new out there? Well, let‘s - let‘s all listen to former Senator Bob Kerrey, Clinton supporter, talk up rival Barack Obama.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB KERREY (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: There is a smear campaign going on. And people acting as if he‘s an Islamic “Manchurian Candidate.” And I feel it‘s actually a substantial strength.
He is a Christian. Both he and his family are Christians. They have chosen Christianity. But that connection to Indonesia and a billion Muslims on this Earth, I think, is a real strength, and add an awful—a lot of value in his foreign policy efforts.
I have told Barack Obama, when I have met with him—it‘s something that I have spoken about before, so this is not something that just sort of came out of the head-birth out there in Iowa. I thought about it a great deal. I have—I have watched the blogs try to say that—that you can‘t trust him because he spent a little bit of time in a secular madrassa.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEWS: So, is Hillary backer Bob Kerrey pretending to sell Obama, but clearly putting the shiv in?
Here is Hillary Clinton defending him and Bob Kerrey: “I think the remarks were very positive. I know Bob. He was being very complimentary of Senator Obama. He was making a point that Senator Obama makes himself all the time, that, because of his upbringing and his heritage, he is, in his view”—“in his view”—catch that line—“very well-suited to communicate with the rest of the world. And he has just himself that he wants to have a particular outreach to the Islamic world. So, I think Senator Kerrey was being, you know, very generous in what he said.”
But didn‘t Hillary dump on Obama a few days ago for playing up his Indonesian roots? So, what is she up to here? Is she pushing how great he is for having been born in Indonesia, or what, or simply reminding everybody about his background, his Islamic background?
Remember a couple weeks ago, when White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, who speaks for the president of the United States, giddily explained that she didn‘t know anything about the Cuban Missile Crisis...
12/08/10 UPDATE: The video was previously at
youtube.com/watch?v=hVndfV4--5g but Youtube says: "the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated due to multiple third-party notifications of copyright infringement."