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…
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.