Matthews To Dodd: ‘Do You Find It Difficult To Debate A Woman?’

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"Matthews To Dodd: ‘Do You Find It Difficult To Debate A Woman?’"

During last night’s post-Democratic presidential debate analysis, MSNBC host Chris Matthews was hung up on the fact there is a woman running for president. After questioning Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) about Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) position on entitlement reforms, he then asked Dodd, “Do you find it difficult to debate a woman?” Dodd, not surprisingly, said, “[N]ot at all.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/09/matthewswoman.320.240.flv]

Matthews continued to focus on Clinton’s gender in a subsequent discussion with NBC’s Tim Russert, saying that “her husband” had her on a “short leash”:

Let me tell you how short Hillary’s leash is. She was asked by you, sir, about whether we’re going to get full disclosure of contributors to presidential libraries. And she did not feel that she had the latitude in her husband’s absence to give you an answer. She said, you’ll have to ask my husband, as if you’re a guy going door to door trying to sell someone and says you’ll have to wait for my husband to get home.

But as Media Matters points out, Clinton said that she had “co-sponsored legislation that would have sitting presidents reveal any donation to their presidential library.” She could not answer whether or not the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Library would “voluntarily” make such donations public in the absence of such legislation because she does not control those entities.

Matthews’s post-debate analysis is often colored by his personal views on gender. After an August Democratic presidential forum, Matthews said he was astonished that Clinton said, “I’m your girl.” “It’s post-feminist,” said Matthews. “You can say ‘girl’ now. It’s so fascinating.”

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Transcript:

MATTHEWS: Do you find it difficult to debate a woman?

DODD: No, not at all. I haven’t faced one in the eight elections I’ve been involved in, but I think here this is a question of looking for leadership. There’s no more important election, Chris, in our lifetime than the one that’s going to be conducted about 14 months from now. […]

RUSSERT: What I want to hear is the conversation tonight between president Clinton Hillary Clinton about president Clinton’s comments last year on MEET THE PRESS that we ought to have an exception that if we know the number three guy in Al Qaeda knows a bomb is going off and where it’s going off, it’s okay to beat the hell out of him. Have a presidential (inaudible).

MATTHEWS: Let me tell you how short Hillary’s leash is. She was asked by you, sir, about whether we’re going to get full disclosure of contributors to presidential libraries. And she did not feel that she had the latitude in her husband’s absence to give you an answer. She said, you’ll have to ask my husband, as if you’re a guy going door to door trying to sell someone and says you’ll have to wait for my husband to get home. It was unbelievable that she wouldn’t answer that. Never mind, let’s drop this.

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