MSNBC host Chris Matthews, apparently not satisfied comparing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to notorious Nazi sympathizer Father Coughlin and former Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wis.), went a step further and labeled the Texas Republican a “terrorist” on his television program on Wednesday.
“I compared him to McCarthy — I shouldn’t get into what people look like, but he does,” Matthews said. “He reminds me so much, when I look at him interrogating a witness on the Hill, he looks like Joe McCarthy.”
He continued: “I will say he’s a terrorist. Because what the guy has done basically says, ‘my goals are, is demolition.’ Blow up health care. Blow up the continuing resolution. Bring the government to a standstill, and then make us forfeit on the national debt.”
Former John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt was quick to call out Matthews for his use of the word “terrorist” in such a inflammatory manner, despite the fact that he is clearly no fan of Cruz.
“I disagree with your use of the word terrorist,” Schmidt said, though he later would call Cruz a “demagogue.”
“Why is he not a terrorist?” Matthews shot back. He then claimed he actually called him a “political terrorist” because “that’s what he is.”
“I’m not comfortable with the word,” Schmidt said.
“OK. Don’t use it. Use your words,” Matthews responded. “I’m comfortable with it.”
Schmidt eventually got back to criticizing Cruz, saying the plan to defund Obamacare, led by Tea Party conservatives like Cruz, is completely “irresponsible.” However, Matthews wasn’t ready to calm down the “terrorist” rhetoric.
The MSNBC host went on to say that Cruz is indeed a “terrorist.” We assume he forgot the “political” before “terrorist” again.
“The purpose of a terrorist…is to cause chaos and to bring down a government because of the chaotic situation where nobody has any trust in institutions,” Matthews said. “You tell me how that’s not what he’s trying to do here: Bring the government to default so it’s not paying its bills, stop the government from functioning.”
But Schmidt didn’t budge on his opposition to the use of the word “terrorist,” though he agreed that Cruz is creating “chaos.”
This story has been updated.