MSNBC's Chris Matthews compared members of the Republican Party to the Ku Klux Klan on his show Monday night. He quickly walked his comments back after a guest challenged his remarks, and recanted them again later in the segment, saying he "didn't mean" to make the comparison.
During a discussion with former chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele, Matthews said that Romney went from being a "flat-earther" who said he did not believe in evolution to someone who was suddenly "teaching biology."
"But that's not what he said," Steele argued. "Why are you putting those words in his mouth? He's never said he's a flat-earther and doesn't believe in evolution. Those are your words, Chris, and that's how you like to paint him to be. Romney will paint his own picture." After Steele said that issues involving science and climate did not come up in the Republican primary election, Matthews referred to some members of the Republican Party as "the Grand Wizard crowd."
Steele interjected and told Matthews that he "resented" his comment. "What is this 'Grand Wizard' nonsense?" Steele asked.
"I should say the far-right party. Alright, I'll relax," Matthews responded.
"Are you saying that we're the Ku Klux Klan? Give me a break. Don't go there with me on that," Steele said.
"OK, great. Good. Thank you," Matthews said. "There are none of those problems over there, all those birthers out there."
A bit later, Matthews said that he "didn't mean" to say "Grand Wizard," but that Romney should "denounce" people who try to make President Obama appear to be a "foreigner."