03/04/2012 04:50 pm ET Updated May 04, 2012

Chris Matthews: Republicans 'Probably Going To Lose' (VIDEO)

Chris Matthews offered a grim prediction on Sunday for the Republican party ahead of the 2012 elections.

Speaking on "The Chris Matthews Show," Matthews brought up an attention-getting column by conservative writer George Will, which said that Republicans might want to write off the presidential election as a lost cause and focus instead on strengthening the GOP's grip on Congress.

Matthews echoed Will's thoughts as he said, "A great year to win, they're probably going to lose, in fact, lose by Barry Goldwater dimensions. A wipeout." Turning to his panel, he asked, "Is this Rush Limbaugh thing the kind of thing that's getting them this sense of forbidding in a year they should be winning?"

Matthews' comments came in the middle of a discussion about Rush Limbaugh's recent controversy, in which he called a birth control advocate a "slut" and subsequently received a barrage of criticism.

Matthews pointed out that while Republicans are stuck explaining and apologizing for Limbaugh, Obama has been left unscathed. He even phoned Limbaugh victim Sandra Fluke to express concern.

"Barack Obama is radiating optimism these days," said Matthews.

Many critics have argued that the messy GOP primary will hurt the Republicans in November. Recently, Sarah Palin told Fox News that voters are "so tired of the pettiness within the GOP process."