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Matthews: Gingrich 'ought to be ashamed of himself'

Newt Gingrich has called Barack Obama a "food stamp president."  "Food stamp president!"  Got it?

Newt Gingrich has called Barack Obama a "food stamp president."  "Food stamp president!"  Got it? Thought we were past this, didn't you?  You know, the talk of "welfare queens" and phrases like that.

Well, you either get the message or you don't.  If you don't, there's no point arguing about it.  Most people do get the point, meaning most people white or black get the point.

Speaker Gingrich went at Juan Williams last night in just this vein.  He knew what he was doing.  What was all the cheering about when Gingrich responded the way he did?  Gingrich was making the questioner the issue, very successfully I might add.  He had the crowd going in his favor.  The white crowd in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina were clearly on his side against the guy asking the questions, Juan Williams.

He asked if Gingrich could see that saying black Americans should want jobs "not food stamps" was insulting.  Gingrich then laid into him, saying that President Obama had put more Americans on food stamps than any other president. 

He got a lot of applause for that. Why would saying that get you a big hearty applause?  Because this whole conversation isn't about poverty - but about race.  It's about a candidate who knows just how to make his point to appeal to a certain kind of voter. 

Again, there's no point arguing this.  You either here the code being used or you don't. If someone can honestly say that talking about "food stamps," bringing up "food stamps," calling a President a "food stamp" president when no one else on the planet is talking about food stamps, knows precisely what he's talking about.

It's about a cartoon.  A cartoon that the people getting public assistance are lazy, don't want to work and are black. You talk about how low this campaign has gotten: just look here. And by the way, next time you're in Washington, D.C., or any other big urban area, I've got an educational trip for you to take.

Get up early, earlier than you usually do, say, about 6 or 6:30 and drive through the poor-er parts of town - and watch who's up waiting at the bus stops, heading to work.   Poor people, a lot of them, a lot of them black, are the hardest working people in the country.

Gingrich is a smart guy.  He ought to be ashamed of himself.