Supporters of Tea Party favorites Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller and Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul have been “acting like street thugs,” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said Wednesday.
On Monday, two of Paul’s supporters pushed a MoveOn.org activist to the ground and stomped on her head. The victim, Lauren Valle, received a concussion and sprains from the altercation.
The Paul campaign distanced itself from Tim Profitt, one of the men responsible for the stomping. The next day, Profitt said he was the victim that needed to apologize to him.
The behavior is the “kind of stuff we saw from hoodlums in the ’30s in another country I will not mention,” Matthews said Wednesday, an obvious reference to Nazi Germany.
“What is this behavior by American political activists where they now arrest people, stomp them?” he wondered. “These are supposed to be people who are just good old American Tea Partiers.”
“I gotta wonder when people are gonna start wearing uniforms,” he said of Miller’s security guards. (Ironically, Miller’s security guards were off-duty Army servicemembers, though Matthews may have been referencing Nazi-era brownshirts.)
“You’ve got these guys going around acting like street thugs,” Matthews continued. “I mean it isn’t far from what we saw in the thirties, where all of a sudden, political parties started showing up in uniform.”
“I don’t think it is right wing by its nature,” The Washington Post‘s Chris Cilizza told Matthews. “I do not think that is an ideological thing. I do not think it is a right wing thing, a left wing thing.”
“I think you are missing some of the nuance of the far right these days,” Matthews replied.
This video is from MSNBC’s Hardball, broadcast Oct. 27, 2010.