Former RNC chair and Matthews call each other ‘sycophant’ during heated exchange over economy

Updated
By Aliyah Shahid

A Hardball segment about President Obama’s recent campaign address featured an unusually heated exchange between host Chris Matthews and former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele.

Steele called Matthews an Obama “sycophant” after flatly refusing to answer the latter’s question. Matthews had asked Steele to compare Mitt Romney’s economic plan to George W. Bush, arguing they both are in favor for tax cuts for the wealthy and deregulating the financial sector.

“That is an irrelevant question,” Steele sniped, adding “You’re doing exactly what Obama wants us to do. You’re a good sycophant for it.”

Matthews hit back, asking “What do you call a guy that refuses to answer a question? Is he a sycophant for the other side?”

The argument came the same day President Obama remarked in Ohio that Romney’s economic plan was “tested just a few years ago. We tried this … We can’t afford to jeopardize our future by repeating the mistakes of the past.” 

“You give me the differences between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama,” Steele insisted. “That’s what the election is about. This is not about George Bush.”

The two also traded jabs on private investment. At one point, Matthews accused Steele of not being in favor of private investment because it would help President Obama, something Steele denied. Steele maintained  Obama’s speech in Ohio was “blubber.”

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Michael Steele and Barack Obama

Former RNC chair and Matthews call each other 'sycophant' during heated exchange over economy

Updated