Chris Matthews Apologizes For MSNBC's 'Lack of Judgment' in Mitt Romney Report

Chris Matthews - P 2011

MSNBC's Chris Matthews issued an on-air apology on Wednesday for a report about the Mitt Romney campaign that compared a phrase used by Romney on the trail to a past Ku Klux Klan slogan.

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The report in question, apparently culled from a left-leaning blog's remarks tying Romney's "keep America American" motto to a phrase used by the K.K.K. in the 1920s, caused problems inside the offices of the cable news network, the New York Times reports. A Romney respresentative made a phone call to the network, a sibling of NBC News and the "Today" show, to "alert them of the misreporting," according to the Times.

"So you may not hear Mitt Romney say 'Keep America American' anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the K.K.K. group, and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews,” MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts said Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, this headline was scrawled across the screen: "Romney's KKK Slogan?"'

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On his Hardball program hours later, Matthews responded in a statement: "It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this and it showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize. We really do, to the Romney campaign."

Check out video of his mea culpa here.