From last night’s Hardball:

MATTHEWS: OK. I want to get to your issue about mine-resistant equipment over there and armage (ph) equipment over there. But let me ask you this, first of all. Rudy Giuliani–he seems to get away with a lot of factual mistakes. He was on David Letterman the other night. And I know David Letterman’s not a newsman. It’s not his job to fact check. But listen to this. Let’s take a look at–here’s the former mayor of New York, the most respected man in the Republican Part right now, if you look at the polls, and here’s what he’s saying about the Iraq Liberation Act, as if he knows what he’s talking about, on David Letterman’s show the other night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, “LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN”: Now, again, another ridiculous hypothetical question. Regardless of the party in power, regardless of the man or woman in the office, would we have been at war in Iraq? Everything up to that decision-making point is the same.

RUDOLPH GIULIANI ®, FMR NYC MAYOR, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, it’s hard to say. I mean, it got the vote of a lot of Democrats who supported it, and actually, when Saddam was overthrown, praised the president for doing it. It was the policy of the Clinton administration to have regime change in Iraq. So in a way, George Bush carried out what Bill Clinton wanted to do and didn’t get the opportunity to do. So who knows…

(APPLAUSE)

LETTERMAN: Yes. OK.

GIULIANI: Who knows–I can’t tell you what would have been if a different president were there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEWS: Absolutely BS, Senator, absolute BS. You cannot say that we had–that President Clinton had the authorization to go to war with Iraq. You can’t say he just didn’t have an opportunity to go. No one told him to go until Bush got the authority from Congress, including you, in 2002. What is Giuliani getting applause for on complete nonsense like that? This is–the Iraq Liberation (INAUDIBLE) was something cooked up by the INC, the Iraqi National Congress, with McCain and Lieberman pushing it. It had nothing to do with an American war in Iraq, nothing to do with it.

BIDEN: Well, you’re absolutely right, Chris, and that’s what presidential campaigns are going to be about. Right now, he’s on the stage with a group of other Republicans who would probably agree with and spout the same malarkey. And it’s only going to be, if he’s the nominee and when he’s confronting somebody like me or someone else from my party with the facts. I mean, they just are not sustainable, what he is asserting.

And furthermore, the president went to war not only unnecessarily, he went to war by usurping, really, what the provisions in the Iraqi–in the use of force act we gave him. We said he was supposed exhaust all these remedies. He was supposed to deal with the inspectors first, and so on and so forth. He just flat out disregarded…

MATTHEWS: I know.

BIDEN: … the vast majority of that, even to the chagrin of his own secretary of state, Colin Powell.

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you about another Rudy Giuliani-ism. He’s out there saying that he wants a tamper-proof ID card for people who come in the country. How can you go up to a person who might have a certain skin complexion or a certain accent and ask them for their tamper-proof ID card and not ask for the same card from you and me, if we’re trying to get a job? Does anybody check these politicians and say, You can’t, in this free country, tell some people they’ve got to carry a tamper-proof ID card, like it’s in South Africa, and the other people don’t have to carry one.

How does he get away with this? Either we all have to carry this card, or nobody has to carry it. Am I wrong? You were chairman of the Judiciary Committee. You know the Constitution.

BIDEN: You’re absolutely right. You’re absolutely right. The way he gets away with it…

MATTHEWS: I get so overwhelmed by the lack of fact-checking by the journalists covering these guys every–why don’t they just stop him and say, What are you saying, Mayor? Does anybody–does anybody in your staff…

BIDEN: Because I think…

MATTHEWS: … ever look anything up? I’m sorry.

If only he were always like that.

Comments

  1. #1 MK
    May 24, 2007

    MATTHEWS: I get so overwhelmed by the lack of fact-checking by the journalists covering these guys every–why don’t they just stop him and say, What are you saying, Mayor? Does anybody–does anybody in your staff…

    Somewhere Bob Somerby’s head just exploded. Oh, the irony.

  2. #2 Tyler DiPietro
    May 24, 2007

    Of course the Democrats are bailing the Iraq boat now that it’s politically radioactive, but anyone convinced that they put up any meaningful opposition to it would have to have a very shoddy memory indeed.

    I don’t trust Democrats on foreign policy anymore than I trust Republicans. The party has, if anything, a far more sordid history of overzealous Wilsonian interventionism than the Republicans. Right now it’s obvious that Iraq is a mess, but we always have to worry about Iran. And even much of the allegedly “antiwar” left is clamoring for an intervention into Darfur, taking our troops out of the frying pan (Iraq) only to toss them into a fire.

  3. #3 Colugo
    May 24, 2007

    That’s not how Scott Ritter remembers it.
    http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/48729/

    Ritter: “Hillary would have done well to leave out that last part, the one where her husband, the former president of the United States, used military force as part of a 72-hour bombing campaign ostensibly deemed as a punitive strike in defense of disarmament, but in actuality proved to be a blatant attempt at regime change that used the hyped-up threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as an excuse for action. Sound familiar? While many Americans today condemn the Bush administration for misleading them with false claims of unsubstantiated threats, which resulted in the ongoing debacle we face today in Iraq (count Hillary among this crowd), few have reflected back on the day when the man from Hope, Ark., sat in the Oval Office and initiated the policies of economic sanctions-based containment and regime change that President Bush later brought to fruition when he ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. …

    I sat in the office of then-U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, as the United States cut a deal with then-U.N. Special Commission Executive Chairman Richard Butler, where the timing and actions of an inspection team led by myself (a decision that was personally approved by Bill Clinton) would be closely linked to a massive U.S. aerial bombardment of Iraq triggered by my inspection. I was supposed to facilitate a war by prompting Iraqi noncompliance.”

    Chris Matthews, 4/9/03: “We’re all neo-cons now.”
    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2842

  4. #4 matthew
    May 25, 2007

    “If only he were always like that” he’d be Jon Stewart.

  5. #5 Jason Rosenhouse
    May 25, 2007

    MK-

    I thought of that too. I read the Howler every day. In fact, originally this was going to be a much longer post describing Matthews’ tortured relation with the truth. But then I got lazy.

  6. #6 MK
    May 25, 2007

    It’s interesting…I find Somerby to be invaluable. Although, I think he unfortunately tends to think everyone who isn’t doing exactly as he does is not worthy. (That might be unfair, but you know what I mean?) Anyway, he and Greg Sargent do a bang up job on their own. You’ve got enough going on with the science, math, and atheist stuff. Which is why I come here anyway…and thank you for all that!

    Cheers.

  7. #7 kevin
    May 28, 2007

    “Of course the Democrats are bailing the Iraq boat now that it’s politically radioactive, but anyone convinced that they put up any meaningful opposition to it would have to have a very shoddy memory indeed.

    I don’t trust Democrats on foreign policy anymore than I trust Republicans”

    Gee .. I wonder how many demos vs repthugs voted against the war powers resolution?? http://www.antiwar.com/orig/feingold1.html

    Gee I wonder who voted for the troop withdrawal bill? “Reid and Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., have also introduced an amendment that would call for the withdrawal of U.S. troops beginning 120 days after enactment, and completed by March 2008, without condition or presidential waiver.”

    or what? sure the dems are a bit scared and caved in to bush but at least they are trying. I expect them to force an end to this occupation BEFORE the end of the bush regime. He will fight it all the way so he can leave office before the occupation is LOST (or at least SAY it)

  8. #8 Tyler DiPietro
    May 28, 2007

    Thanks for the insight kevin, I’m no aware of the fact that foreign policy == Iraq, and goes nowhere beyond it. Thanks for clearing it all up.

  9. #9 Kevin
    May 29, 2007

    “Thanks for clearing it all up.”

    no prob, bro….

    When you use an important example to merge the two parties together, that’s just wrong.

    We can further compare policies re North Korea, Africa, and Iran for similar insights, easily enough.

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