MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said Friday that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has handled the election of President Obama worse than South African apartheid-era president F.W. de Klerk handled the election of Nelson Mandela.

“The difference between the way F.W. de Klerk handled the need for change and inevitable election, democratic election of Nelson Mandela, a legitimate election, truly legitimate for the first time. [De Klerk] was never legitimately elected. For him to recognize his role in history which  was to be a patriot at that point is so different than the way Mitch McConnell handled the election of Obama,” Matthews said on MSNBC.

“So different. To set it up that way, the juxtaposition, they were willing, the McConnell people onto the far right were willing to destroy the country in order to destroy Obama, whereas to succeed in a country he loved, F.W. de Klerk was willing to see it transformed to black rule so that it could be done successfully so he would have his country have a better future,” he said.

Matthews’ comments were made just hours after he interviewed President Barack Obama and later praised him for coming “amongst us.”

“We have real people in this country with real power and status who have used that status of power to hurt the country so they could hurt the president,” he said.

“An important assessment,” host Alex Wagner chimed in.

(H/T: Washington Free Beacon)

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter