MSNBC host Chris Matthews slammed the celebratory tone of the first day of the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual convention on Friday.
“[Americans] want a way to stop felons, the criminally insane and wifebeaters, if you will, from getting more firepower,” Matthews said. “Well, forget about all that. The National Rifle Association is now engaged in some same-politics marriage with the Republican National Committee. Wayne LaPierre loves Reince Priebus and Reince Priebus loves Wayne LaPierre”
Matthews said NRA head LaPierre and his RNC counter part — the two “joy boys of the gun world,” as he described them — have spearheaded a “dance of death” on President Barack Obama’s push for universal background checks on gun sales, the focus of the Toomey-Manchin Amendment, which would have expanded background checks on gun sales, but failed to gain the 60 votes needed to pass in the U.S. Senate.
The “endzone dance” on display on Friday had MSNBC contributor Joy Reid wondering what Republicans saw when they looked in the political mirror.
“I almost feel like the right is suffering from a political version of body dysmorphic disorder,” she told Chris Matthews. “They have this inability to see themselves the way others see them. They’re there dancing in the endzone and thinking, ‘This is awesome. We defeated the most awful president, the guy we hate.’ But the rest of the country is looking at them and thinking, ‘Wow, these guys are nuts.'”
The NRA’s gathering opened on Friday with a roster of speakers — including Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), among others — that Matthews quipped looked like something out of another Republicans-only gathering, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which Reid said showed the erosion of the organization’s former ability to be able to appear amenable to bipartisan interests.
“Now they’re associating themselves with the far, far right,” Reid said. “The people that independents look at and think [are] insane.”
Watch Matthews, Reid and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) discuss the NRA convention’s opening day, as aired on MSNBC on Friday, below.