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Chris Matthews Blows Up at RNC Chairman

Accuses GOP of playing 'race card'


Chris Matthews is not happy, and he let Republicans know it yesterday, when he accused RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and the GOP of playing the race card at recent campaign events and with party policy.

Matthews and Priebus were appearing on yesterday’s “Morning Joe” show on MSNBC, in advance of the Republican National Convention’s kick-off. Matthews was not happy about a joke Romney made about birth certificates at a recent campaign event, which he thought played into the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States. “It is an embarrassment to your party to play that card … you are playing that ethnic card there,” Matthews said.

When Priebus laughed the comment off, and as show co-host Joe Scarborough tried to speak up, Matthews continued. “[Y]ou can sit there and giggle about it, but the fact is your party is playing that card.” Matthews didn’t buy Priebus’ explanation that Romney was just trying to build his brand with the joke, saying that he thought it was funny that Romney’s “first joke” was about Obama’s birth certificate.

Later during the appearance, Matthews blew up again when Priebus suggested that Obama took policy cues from Europe, and attempts by co-host Mika Brzezinski to smooth things over between the two failed.

After the contentious appearance by the two, Priebus said it was typical behavior by Chris Matthews, playing “the role of being the biggest jerk in the room.” He also said it was an attempt by theHardballhost to bring more viewers to his show.

When Matthews’ show came on the air later that day, he continued the attack on the Romney birth certificate joke, raising the issue with guest Newt Gingrich. Matthews also replayed a clip of the comment and asked what the punchline was.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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