09/23/2012 12:11 pm ET

Chris Matthews Defends 'Race Card' Allegations At Republican National Convention (VIDEO)

Chris Matthews defended his allegations that the Republican party is playing the race card to get votes, telling Bill Maher that African-Americans have personally thanked him for speaking out about the issue.

Livid over recent developments, the MSNBC host exploded at RNC chairman Reince Priebus at the Republican National Convention. The outburst was criticized by Priebus and even fellow MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. Matthews later doubled down on those allegations in a passionate monologue.

On Friday's "Real Time With Bill Maher," Matthews was asked if he has "taken heat" for calling something racist before anyone else has "raised the issue."

"Everybody I've met who's African-American has come up to me, about six inches away from me and very personally said, 'Thank you,'" he responded, adding that those people included fans in other countries.

"It is an international reality and everybody feels it on that side of the racial divide," Matthews continued. "It's disgusting that white people, to whom the dog whistle is aimed, refuse to acknowledge it. It's there, it's been part of our politics. We thought it was gone, it's back and it's being used to get votes."



Republican National Convention 2012