WASHINGTON – Chris Matthews, political commentator and host of MSNBC’s Hardball, predicted that the Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives next year and that former Vice President Joe Biden wants credit for the win as he prepares for a presidential run in 2020.
“Somebody has got to go out there and fight Trump the next two years. I think the Democrats will win the House next year, and if they win the House somebody will get credit for it. I think Joe wants credit for it. I think he’s going to campaign like mad,” Matthews said while promoting his new book Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit at the new Politics & Prose location at the Wharf in Washington last week. “But that’s not the solution. He’s 75 now. You can’t have a president heading full speed into his 80s.”
Following the event, Matthews expanded on his thoughts about Biden’s role in the Democratic Party.
“He is running. I don’t care what he says. I know he is running. It’s a fact he’s running and everybody else knows it, too. What else is he doing? I don’t know what Hillary is doing – tell me that,” Matthews said. “He’s never stopped running. When has he stopped running?”
Matthews told PJM he would “feel good” with Biden in office.
“I think he’s a good guy. I think he would make good decisions. I don’t know how he would win,” he said.
As for President Trump’s chances of winning re-election, Matthews said, “I think there’s going to be other candidates. The age issue will catch up to him. Don’t you think [John] Kasich is going in?”
In response to the possibility of Kasich running as an independent, Matthews said, “It’s way too early.”
Matthews weighed in on the controversy surrounding Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.
“I think he’ll lose,” Matthews said. “He’s not going to get elected. The polling is going against him, don’t you think?”
Matthews said the abortion issue is the reason evangelical Christians are sticking with Moore despite the sexual assault allegations that have emerged involving women who were underage when the former judge was in his 30s.
“I think it’s abortion rights. I think it’s abortion,” Matthews said. “This life issue is just – why do you think Pennsylvania went the way it went? You don’t think that was an issue? Of course it got Trump. Trump got the pro-life vote. You might not like it, but he got it.”
On the sexual harassment allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Matthews declared that “it’s going to be decided by the voters.”
“Look, Al just got re-elected. He’s got five years to work this out. If it doesn’t get any worse, I think he’ll make it and he’ll get through it. I don’t know. These things are dynamics,” he said.
During his speech before the book signing, Matthews mentioned Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment on the presidential campaign trail as part of the reason she lost to Trump.
“You can’t talk down to people,” he said. “The white working class is not in the Democratic Party anymore because they’ve been pissed on so long by the Democratic elite that they got the message.”
An attendee asked Matthews which politician he sees as an emerging leader of the Democratic Party who exemplifies the characteristics of Bobby Kennedy. Matthews named Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), who he referred to as “tough,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who he said could win Ohio, and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).
“If you can win in Missouri, you are good,” he said.
Matthews called New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez’s trial a “sleaze case” and criticized Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who testified as a character witness for Menendez. Matthews said Booker seemed a little “too excited” about Menendez getting a hung jury.
Matthews also mentioned Iraq War veteran Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), but said he would likely have difficultly as a presidential candidate coming from the House.
According to Matthews, the Democratic Party has “moved left” and it needs a 2020 ticket that’s a “coalition of center-left and left.”
“I think the ticket should led by somebody with maturity and experience and having proved themselves,” he said. “You can have a running mate who hasn’t done that yet.”