Speaking with MSNBC host Chris Matthews during MSNBC's coverage of the January 8 New Hampshire presidential primaries, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) attacked Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), saying that if Obama wins the Democratic nomination, "we'll get to talk about what change means when Obama is president of the United States. Change isn't exactly what I think this nation wants to go -- surrender the war on terror, more taxes, more spending, bigger government." Matthews did not challenge DeLay's comments.
DeLay was also quoted in a January 9 Washington Times article
smearing Obama as a "Marxist." According to the Times, DeLay said: "Somebody from our side needs to start talking about Obama today. He's a Marxist but a very smart one -- he doesn't let anyone know it." DeLay previously said that Obama's voting record in the Illinois Senate was "on par with a 'Marxist leftist,' " according to a December 12, 2006, account
by HumanEvents.com's Robert Bluey of a meeting between DeLay and a group of conservative bloggers.Neither Matthews nor the Times article noted that DeLay is currently under indictment in Texas on money laundering and conspiracy charges relating to a campaign finance probe.
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From MSNBC's January 8 New Hampshire primary coverage:
MATTHEWS: Who would your party rather run against -- Bill Clinton's wife, Hillary Clinton, who's having a hard time in this campaign, or Barack Obama, the new kid on the block? Who's easier to tag and beat?
DeLAY: I think they're both easier to beat. They're both liberal. I think Obama's much more liberal than Hillary Clinton, but it's a matter of degrees. And either one of them will bring this debate where it ought to be, and that's a debate on philosophy, on vision, where to lead the country in the future. So I'd really -- I don't care who wins.
MATTHEWS: Wouldn't it be more fun to run against Hillary for your guys?
DeLAY: I don't know. I think she has some good qualities for us. Her unpopularity and her ability to polarize people is good for us. On the other hand, Obama -- and we'll get to talk about what change means when Obama is president of the United States. Change isn't exactly what I think this nation wants to go -- surrender the war on terror, more taxes, more spending, bigger government. I think that's all good for us.
MATTHEWS: Well, the last time you confronted him as a challenger, you threw up Alan Keyes to run against him. You got somebody better this time?
DeLAY: Yeah, I think we've got some pretty good candidates this time.
From the January 9 Washington Times article, headlined "Republicans prepare to take aim at Obama":
But for former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was known as "the Hammer" on Capitol Hill, said Republicans need to start deconstructing Mr. Obama now.
"Somebody from our side needs to start talking about Obama today. He's a Marxist but a very smart one -- he doesn't let anyone know it," said Mr. DeLay, who said he wanted to throw his shoe at the television set when the Republican candidates opted not to mention Democrats in their debates.