The following excerpt was aired on the June 9 edition of Hardball:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: If you’re a Blue Dog Democrat from a conservative culturally part of the country, where you’re fighting out every election with two or three points to spare, if you’re a — if you’re are [Jim] Matheson from Utah or you’re from Oklahoma and you’re a [Dan] Boren — and he’s leaving Congress – your life’s getting difficult enough defending the East Coast and the left coast Democratic Party. They’re too far left. Look at what happened in Arkansas last year. It’s getting very, very hard to defend the behavior, politically, of the party. Now you throw on top of that immoral behavior, indiscrete behavior, embarrassing behavior, gross behavior like this, and you still have him in your midst. And that’s my question to you. If you’re Steny Hoyer, who does speak for the Blue Dogs, if you’re Nancy Pelosi, the former Speaker, who has to deal with them, don’t you have to deal with the fact – you’re losing any chance of getting back a 218 majority?
I want you to pick this up, Ben. This is, to me, the stakes here. If he stays, they never get the leadership back. They never get the Speakership back because the people in the rural areas of this country who are Christian conservative culturally – you can say backward if you want – but they don’t like this kind of stuff at all. They’re not part of that 56 percent in Brooklyn and Queens who say, “okay, we can live with this guy.” Your thoughts, Ben? Isn’t that the cutting edge of this?