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Chris Matthews 'Went Along' with Polls 'Because I Used to Think They Were Honest'

WASHINGTON – Chris Matthews, host of Hardball on MSNBC, told PJM he is “rooting” for President Trump to “break out and become a popular president” and that the media should not accept low approval rating polls at face value.

Matthews said he “used to think” presidential polls were “honest” but not anymore.

During an interview at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last weekend, Matthews told PJM Trump made a “smart” move when he skipped the dinner and attended a rally in Harrisburg, Pa., instead.

“He looks at that map and he knows how he got to the White House. He didn’t get there through New York or D.C. or L.A. He got there through Erie and Scranton and places like that, and he’s just got to stay true to those people. Now, he may break out and become a popular president -- he’s not there, but he has to hold to what he came with like Obama did. It’s common sense,” Matthews said.

“He can’t look in the eyes of the big New York and Washington media and say, ‘Do you love me?’ It’s not going to work, but some of us are hoping he’ll turn. I do. The other day I compared him to Sandy Koufax – the guy has six years of wild pitching and then six years of the greatest pitching in history. So maybe he’ll get it straightened out. I’m rooting for him to straighten it out; who doesn’t? Well, some people don’t want him to get it together,” he added.

PJM pointed out that some Democrats have vowed to resist anything Trump proposes.

“Well, that’s their point of view, not mine,” Matthews replied. “We only have one president. I’m getting old. I want presidents to succeed. I’m not waiting for [Senator] Chris Murphy being president or who it’s going to be.”

Some polls have shown Trump with a lower approval rating in his first 100 days than any other modern president.

“If you took the last poll that was taken right before the election, he was in mid-30s. People vote for him who don’t say so. You go back in history. When Kennedy won afterwards everybody said they voted for him. They didn’t,” he said. “It was a real close election with Nixon. He barely beat Nixon, hardly beat Nixon but afterwards everybody said they vote for him. Now everybody says they voted against Trump. You can’t go by polls. The Trump people don’t trust pollsters. Would you if you’re a Trump person?”

PJM mentioned that the media cited pre-election polls showed Hillary Clinton winning.

“I went along because I used to think they were honest. I thought they were true. They were wrong. They didn’t understand that people don’t trust pollsters and they weren’t going to give a straight answer,” Matthews said. “Here’s one, the Susquehanna poll in Pennsylvania, ready? When they polled people with a live person on the phone, Hillary won by 8. When they polled with a tape recording, Trump won by 2, that’s my point. People were willing to say they’re for Trump if there wasn’t anyone listening. It’s just a fact. It’s a fact. This is my expertise.”