Chris Matthews actually tried to get a coherent response out of now ex-chairman of the astroturf FreedomWorks about why Republicans claim to be the party of small government, but they can’t seem to keep themselves from inserting government into women’s reproductive health or from hating on gay people and insisting that they can’t get married. Armey’s response was to basically fling as much poo as he could find in the direction of the other party and say “but the Democrats…”:
Armey acknowledged there had been several “foolish mistakes” the GOP made during the campaign season, including Mitt Romney’s remarks about the 47%. He insisted the party was trying to “rediscover its relationship” with constitutional limitations on big government and fiscal responsibility.
Host Chris Matthews asked why, if the Republicans are really the party of limited government, does the party have its candidates trying to get rid of contraception, and outlaw gay marriage and abortion. “Why don’t you stay out of people’s lives if you really wanted limited government?” asked Matthews.
The former lawmaker insisted that there were simply a few bad apple candidates, just like the Democrats have “had a few rather strange people,” too. When Matthews pointed out the GOP platform includes items about personhood and contraception, Armey insisted the Democrats also have “unusual” and “strange” items in their platform.
“Name one,” Matthews challenged.
“Homosexual marriage, all right. Abortion on demand,” Armey shot back. “These issues are in your platform. You don’t think it’s strange for these issues to be in your platform pointing in one direction, but you consider it outrageous that the other party has the same issues pointing in the another direction in their platform.”
Matthews responded, “The Democratic party generally supports Roe vs. Wade. It does not support ‘abortion on demand,’” adding the issue of gay marriage is going to be decided state by state, not nationally.
Matthews tried to get Armey to dish on FreedomWorks a bit more, now that he’s taken the $8 million golden parachute of a retirement they paid so they could be rid of him, but Armey didn’t have much to say on that front and was still trying to pretend that they’re some grassroots movement — and not a rebranding effort to get the Bush-stink off the word Republican. Driftglass has more on that and Dick Armey from back in 2010 here.