MSNBC's Chris Matthews responded to some heated criticism from Glenn Beck during his show Thursday night.
Beck railed against Matthews this week for comments the MSNBC host made during coverage of the Mississippi and Alabama primaries. Matthews was discussing the role of religion in the GOP primary and said that the Republican Party "is willing to outsource" the general election "to a Mormon" so they could beat President Obama. He also jokingly described GOP candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as "cultists."
Beck called Matthews a bigot after hearing his comments. He also said Matthews was insulting the intelligence of Southern voters. Matthews responded to these comments, stating that Beck misunderstood him.
"Glenn Beck is a nincompoop," Matthews said during his signature "Let Me Finish" segment. "I talked last night about the Catholic as well as the Mormon religion being viewed as cults in the South. I talked about the fact that many who hold this view are voting for Mitt Romney because they view President Obama as a Muslim."
Matthews continued, "Beck, either out of stupidity, hardness of hearing or malice, said that I was calling my religion and the Mormon religion a cult. I make Beck's dishonesty a matter of record because sometimes people hear something from even someone like Beck and take it as having an element of truth." Matthews said that while he has taken on members of the Mormon and Catholic faiths, his viewers know that he's "never said a word critical of the LDS religion or [his] own."
Matthews described Beck's comments as absurd and resentful. He explained that he got his start in politics from those he referred to as "a few wonderful people" of the Mormon faith.
"Why would Genn Beck go on the radio and try to say something about me that is so patently untrue?" Matthews wondered. "Good question. I hope he corrects it." Matthews then encouraged Beck to listen to his comments again. "If he listens to my words at least one more time he should discern that I was not knocking his religion but knocking the bigotry against both his religion and mine," Matthews said. "I assume that people watching knew that because they know me. I go by the voting patterns which I see right there in the polls. And the sad fact is there are a lot of voters, espeically in the South, with views about the candidates' religions just as I described it."