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Matthews: 'Running for president shouldn't be amateur hour'

Running for president shouldn't be amateur hour, much less a clown show.

Running for president shouldn't be amateur hour, much less a clown show. I spend night after night here watching this parade of absurdity. 

Donald Trump:  Let me spell this out.  You are an incredible showman as well as business tycoon.  You could be a character in a Batman movie - Downtown Business Tycoon and Civic Leader. But you are not a presidential candidate!  Going after a President's birth certificate was a brilliant gimmick - but a gimmick nonetheless - and one that ended up blowing up.

Michele Bachman: Please. You began with this absurdity about the Founding Fathers working their hearts out to end slavery.  Every school kid within a bus ride of Mount Vernon has seen the slave quarters where the Washingtons kept those people you say they were desperately trying to set free.  No they weren't.  As Ed Rendell pointed out, the Washingtons liked having their slaves.  They even brought them up to Philadelphia to share George's presidential years. 

Rick Perry: He wanted to secede from the Union, pointing to some provision in the Texas annexation that allowed for it.  No such provision exists!  And neither does the possibility of this cowboy getting into the White House without a pass issued under the authority of a real president.

Herman Cain: Excuse me - you don't even read the newspapers!  You don't care to take even a few minutes a day to know what's happening in our country - and you say you want to run it.  You are faking it. 

Newt Gingrich: I've got to hand it to you.  Imagine the pain and self-doubt you must be inflicting on Mitt Romney.  Imagine being Mitt and seeing the latest poll that shows Republicans prefer you. You, with all your baggage from previous marriages, a reprimand from the Congress and being driven from the speakership by your own caucus. 

"Politics is a learning profession," historian Arthur Schlesinger once said. 

What have these Republican candidates learned that gives them the "cheek" to ask Americans to make them our president? There was once a time when people believed they had to prove themselves before running for president.