During the network’s coverage of Donald Trump’s Indiana primary victory speech, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was caught on a live microphone commenting on the appearance of Melania Trump, the Republican nominee’s wife.
“Did you see her walk? Runway walk. My God is that good,” Matthews said.
It appeared that the 70-year-old “Hardball” host wasn’t aware his comments were being broadcast. “I could watch that runway show,” he added.
Brian Williams, who was co-anchoring the coverage of Trump’s victory, quickly cut to a commercial break. MNSBC declined to comment to Variety about the incident.
@hardball_chris Matthews creeping on @MELANIATRUMP saying he could watch her walk all day. #dirtyoldman #openmic pic.twitter.com/wQ29lWuVbV
— david lawson (@lumpy68) May 4, 2016
The MSNBC host has been highly critical of the GOP candidate’s sexist policies and lack of respect for women’s rights.
Before Melania married Trump, she was a supermodel, and now runs her own jewelry empire.
A spokesperson for Melania Trump told Variety exclusively, “Melania Trump is an accomplished businesswoman and entrepreneur in her own right, achieving tremendous success in a variety of industries, including an illustrious modeling career, as well as being a dedicated wife and mother. It is unfortunate to see the continuous inaccuracies and misrepresentations made by the media of Mrs. Trump as anything less than the independently successful woman that she is.”
The pundit has been accused of sounding sexist on live television many times before. Here’s a look at some of his sexually regressive greatest hits.
(1) March 5, 2016: Hillary Clinton’s Public Speaking Style
During Hillary Clinton’s Super Saturday speech in Detroit, Matthews led a discussion with two male pundits on Clinton’s speaking style, and discussed how she would benefit from a more conversational tone, like Trump. “One of the trickier things to teach people about public speaking is that the microphone works. You don’t have to actually yell and you can do conversational tones,” one pundit opined. Matthews knew how three men discussing a female candidate’s style might sound, but continued: “It’s got nothing to do with gender, it’s technique damnit, it’s not personality or character. I watched her the other night and I thought she was very good and I said so. I know we are not talking about Trump’s politics. We are talking about Trump’s method. He is very good. He says a line, and he basks in it. He says another line, and he basks in it.”
(2) June 1, 2011: Attributes Sarah Palin’s Success to Her Attractiveness
In the summer of 2011, during Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s meteoric rise in the Republican party Matthews convened an all male panel to discuss why Sarah Palin “could not be hotter as a candidate.” In explaining her popularity, the anchor seemed to attribute her success to her looks. “By the way, there’s something about her. It’s primordial, “Matthews said. “When she walks and moves, there’s something electric about it. That she doesn’t do on television with Roger Ailes sitting in that booth in Wasilla. Look at, there‘s something. Other candidates don’t do this. She’s constantly in motion. She looks, obviously, very attractive. She’s doing something that works. If Mitt Romney was doing the same exact thing. This is what‘s going on here.”
(3) January 9, 2008: Argues Hillary Clinton Is Successful Because Bill Clinton “Messed Around”
Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Matthews credited said she appealed to voters as a suffering wife, “I think the Hillary appeal has always been somewhat about her mix of toughness and sympathy for her. Let’s not forget the reason she is a U.S. Senator, the reason she is a candidate for President is because her husband messed around. We keep forgetting it. She didn’t get there on her merits, because everyone felt, ‘My God, this woman stood up under humiliation.’ Right? That’s what happened.” Matthews later apologized and admitted he “sounded nasty.”
(4) December 4, 2007: Compares Clinton to Nurse Ratched
In 2007, during the fierce Democratic primary battle, on MSNBC’s “Hardball” Matthews asked viewers if Hillary Clinton reminded anyone of the cold, heartless antagonist in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” when she went on the offensive against Obama. “Does her attack on [Sen. Barack Obama] for having ambition as a teeny-bopper — not a teeny-bopper, a kindergartner, does she look like Nurse Ratched here?”
(5) September 27, 2007: Asks former Sen. Chris Dodd If it Was Hard to Debate a Woman, Says Bill Had Her on a “Short Leash”
During MSNBC’s analysis of the Democratic debate, Matthews asked guest then Senator Chris Dodd about his experience debating then Senator Clinton. “Do you find it difficult to debate a woman?” Matthews asked. “Not at all,” Dodd responded. The conversation continued, and Matthews told Tim Russert, Bill Clinton had Hillary under his thumb. “Let me tell you how short Hillary’s leash is. She was asked by you, sir, about whether we’re going to get full disclosure of contributors to presidential libraries. And she did not feel that she had the latitude in her husband’s absence to give you an answer. She said, you’ll have to ask my husband, as if you’re a guy going door to door trying to sell someone and says you’ll have to wait for my husband to get home.”
(6) August 10, 2007: Called Erin Burnett a “Knockout” During a Financial News Segment
During a discussion of business news on MSNBC’s “Hardball” Matthews asked Erin Burnett for a close-up. “Could you get a little closer to the camera? Come on in closer. No, come in — come in further — come in closer. Really close,” Matthews said. As Burnett began to move closer to the camera, Matthews responded. “Just kidding! Matthews responded. “You look great! Anyway, thanks. Erin, it’s great to–look at that look! You’re great. You’re beautiful. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding. You’re a knockout. Anyway, thank you, Erin Burnett. It’s all right getting bad news from you, even, OK? Thanks for coming on ‘Hardball.'”
(6) November 8, 2006: Said It Would Be Hard for a Woman to take on Job of President
During MSNBC’s special election coverage Matthews commented on the victory speeches of then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi, and said it would be hard for a woman to take on the job of President. “I was thinking how hard it is for a woman to take on a job that’s always been held by men,” Matthews said. “And it is so hard. We were watching Hillary Clinton earlier tonight. She was giving a campaign barn burner speech, which is harder to give for a woman. It can grate on some men when they listen to it, fingernails on a blackboard, perhaps. Now, here’s Nancy Pelosi, who has to do the good fight against the president over issues like minimum wage and at reforming, perhaps, prescription drugs, so that people can afford drugs and get them in a program that’s easier to understand. All kinds of things like she’ll have to go head to head with this president. How does she do it without screaming? How does she do it without becoming grating?”
(7) June 13, 2005: Clinton Looks ‘Witchy’
On MSNBC’s Hardball, Matthews said in criticizing the Bush administration’s homeland security spending, Clinton came off witchy. “I hate to say this,” Matthews said. “I’m not going to hate to say it. It’s a fact. You [Clinton] look more witchy when you’re doing it like this.”