In the midst of a discussion of the appeal to voters of potential future Democratic presidential candidates Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews asked on Wednesday whether women still worry about "wife beating" and domestic violence. Matthews posed the question to fellow MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell, who cited the need for the Violence Against Women Act as proof that it's still a significant issue in women's lives.


The discussion began when Matthews talked about Clinton and Biden sharing a stage at Tuesday night's Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards dinner. Clinton founded Vital Voices, an international women's rights group, when when she was First Lady in 1997.

Matthews welcomed Mitchell, who is the host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports," by saying, “You’re one of the great feminists of your time, but you don’t push it."

Mitchell said that Biden, in particular, has "street cred" with women because of his advocacy for women on many fronts, including the Violence Against Women Act. In his speech on Tuesday, Biden called it the "ultimate abuse of power" for a man to strike a woman or a child.

"Is that close to the bone, the idea of wife beating or beaters?" Matthews asked.

"It was part of it," Mitchell replied.

"Is that something women worry about?" said Matthews incredulously. "Men being brutal in the home?"

"Yes, domestic violence," said Mitchell. Biden, she said, was honoring a trio of Indian men, brothers who are working together to stop violence against women and girls in their country, "where rape is endemic."

The panel agreed as the discussion went on that Clinton's four years as Secretary of State have "seasoned" her and given her valuable insight into how to lead a large organization.

Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy