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Matthews: Chilean Miners Would Be Dead if They Followed Tea Party Philosophy

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"They would have been killing each other after about two days."

In one of the most outrageous mischaracterizations of the tea party movement's limited government mantra, MSNBC's Chris Matthews and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka speculate that if the trapped Chilean miners had followed the tea party's "every man for himself" philosophy, there would be no survivors:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Okay let's talk about what the...message to a lot of the people was. The message coming out of the Tea Party people -- and a lot of them are good people -- is 'every man for himself,' basically.  'No more taxes, no more government, no more everything.  No more safety net.  No more health care for everybody.  Everybody just get out there, make your buck, save it, screw the government, move on.'  Right?

RICHARD TRUMKA: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: You know these people, if they were 'every man for himself' down in that mine they wouldn't have gotten out.

TRUMKA: That's exactly right.

MATTHEWS: They would have been killing each other after about two days. This is a story of how people can work together, the people who were down there for two months. The people who were above ground from all over the world, using state of the art equipment not to get rid of the need for manpower but to save manpower in this case.

TRUMKA: You know this is just another example of how radical the Republican Party is becoming, do away with the minimum wage. You just talked about that. Bad policy, it will wreck the economy. If you didn't have government regulation, you wouldn't have clean water, you wouldn't have cars that were safe, you wouldn't have electricity that you could afford, I mean, just a number of things where you need a good, efficient government and they just throw all that aside.

MATTHEWS: Well why do people buy the rhetoric?

TRUMKA: I don't think they do buy it.

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