9:18am PT by Jordan Zakarin
Chris Matthews Yells at Reince Priebus, Accuses Mitt Romney of Race-Baiting on 'Morning Joe' (Video)
Chris Matthews brought his own thunder to the storm-swept Republican National Convention.
The Hardball host joined a panel on the Monday morning, Tampa-set edition of Morning Joe, and unleashed his not uncommon rage on the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Preibus. Matthews was upset that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been claiming that President Obama waived work requirements for welfare recipients, and that Romney made a derisive remark about the president's birth certificate during a speech in Michigan last week.
Priebus and the rest of the Republican party have claimed that Romney was simply making a joke in reference to his being in his home state, but Matthews wasn't having any of it.
"That cheap shot about 'I don't have a problem with my birth certificate was awful. It is an embarrasment to your party to play that card," Matthews raged. "You are playing that little ethnic card there.
"You can play your games and giggle about it but the fact is your side playing that card. When you start talking about work requirements, you know what game you’re playing and everybody knows what game you’re playing," he continued. "It’s a race card and yeah, if your name’s Romney, yeah you were well born, you went to prep school, yeah, brag about it. This guy has an African name and he’s got to live with it. Look who’s gone further in their life. Who was born on third base? Making fun of the guy’s birth certificate issue when it was never a real issue except for the right wing.”
Host Joe Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski cast doubt on Matthews' claims; Brzezinski said that Romney was just "an awkward joker" and Scarborough, quite incredulously, pressed Matthews to defend his statement.
"You got your monologue in, so congratulations," Priebus said. "The fact of the matter is that he's from Michigan, he was born in Michigan, he was making the point that 'I was born in Michigan.' And we've gotten to the point in politics that any moment is levity is frowned on by guys like you."
Matthews responded, "What was the joke?"