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Chris Matthews Challenges Rick Lazio Over Mosque, Imam Ad (VIDEO)

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Chris Matthews played hardball Tuesday with New York Republican Rick Lazio, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination for governor.

In a recent controversial ad, Lazio came out against the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, calling the Imam behind the center a "terrorist sympathizer" who called American "an accessory to 9/11."

Matthews challenged Lazio on the ad, saying it was an overtly political ad indicative of Lazio's poor standing in the polls against his presumed opponent, Democratic New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. And he took Lazio to task for taking Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's comments out of context.

Lazio repeatedly dodged Matthews' questions, including about why the Imam attended Daniel Pearl's funeral and said that he identified with Jewish people. Instead, Lazio accused Matthews of trying to "smear" him.

"I know your tactics, Rick," Matthews said.

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