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RUSH: Last night on PMSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews, he spoke with Howard Dean about the Massachusetts Senate race, and Matthews said, ‘Massachusetts voters had a choice between ‘the public option’ candidate and ‘kill it,’ and voted kill it. How do you explain that?’

DEAN: These voters were sending a message to Washington. They asked for change —

MATTHEWS: But she said, ‘I want to give you the public option’ and they said no to her.

DEAN: — and they haven’t gotten change.

MATTHEWS (interrupting): Governor, this is… This is… You’re whistling past the graveyard here.

DEAN: I don’t think so.

MATTHEWS: She ran for the public option.

DEAN: Our polling shows what it shows.

MATTHEWS: But she’s for the public option and she got blown away!

DEAN: People who were for the p-poter… (stammering) voted for the public op… who are for the public option —

MATTHEWS: Why didn’t they vote for the candidate of the public option, then?

DEAN: Because they wanted to send Washington the message: They want real change.

RUSH: (laughing) I love listening to this. They’re shouting and talking all over each other. It continued…

MATTHEWS: Voters of Massachusetts agree with you, but they voted Republican? That makes no sense.

DEAN: Oh, it does make —

MATTHEWS: If you went in the voting booth —

DEAN: Chris?

MATTHEWS: — would you have voted for Scott Brown?

DEAN: Chris? I — I — I enjoy —

MATTHEWS: Would you have done this?

DEAN: Of course not.

MATTHEWS: Oh! You rationally would not have voted for the conservative Republican because he’s against health care, but you say the voters are irrational. They somehow send smoke signals in their voting. They vote for a conservative Republican who’s totally against health care to tell the country they want a progressive health care program. That’s crazy!

DEAN: We know what they did.

MATTHEWS: Are voters crazy?

DEAN: We actually know that they did.

MATTHEWS: Are voters crazy?

DEAN: Chris, there’s only one crazy person around here, and I may hold up a mirror. You may see him in a minute here.

MATTHEWS: But you mean that voters…?

DEAN: Don’t be silly.

MATTHEWS: I’m just looking at the results. I’m not cheering them; I’m looking at them. And you’re not looking at them.

DEAN: We —

MATTHEWS: You’re saying no matter who won… Suppose Coakley had won. You would have said that was a victory for progressive Democrats. Wouldn’t it be?

DEAN: No, I woulda said —

MATTHEWS: Wouldn’t you have said it if she won?

DEAN: I — I — I would have said, ‘Thank God the right person won.’

MATTHEWS: Okay. In other words, if she wins, that’s a victory for your side. If she loses, that’s a victory for your side.

RUSH: Discombobulation. Discombobulation all over the place. And Matthews, in our final sound bite of this troika has finally had enough of Howard Dean. He says, ‘Why do you believe that Martha Coakley’s defeat meant people wanted a progressive health care bill, Howard? I don’t understand what you’re talking about!’

DEAN: I think people are sending a strong message to Washington. They want strong leadership, they want real change, and they don’t want to accommodate the special interests. Most of what the verdict in Massachusetts was is that we’d rather have no bill than what we’ve got. That’s what the verdict in Massachusetts is.

MATTHEWS: Well, they did decide they wanted no bill. This guy with the barn coat that said, ‘I’m going to vote to kill the bill,’ won. I would say that the people who are against the bill won.

DEAN: I think that’s true, but don’t forget there are a lot of people against the bill who were Obama’s core base and voted against Martha Coakley.

MATTHEWS: You want to know what? Martha Coakley was with you, and she lost.

DEAN: Yeah, well, you know… You’re welcome.

MATTHEWS: She was totally with Howard Dean, and she lost.

DEAN: Well… Whether she was or wasn’t, I didn’t follow the campaign all that closely.

MATTHEWS: She votes exactly like you on this issue, with the progressive position —

DEAN: Yeah?

MATTHEWS: — the public option. She said she was for that position and the voters said, ‘No, thank you.’

RUSH: So… (laughing) Don’t you love hearing this? You want to hear one more of these? Because here on the same show Matthews is fired up at his guys for blowing it. He had Axelrod on (David Axelrod, White House advisor) and they had this exchange about Massachusetts and the Senate race.

MATTHEWS: How did the Republican guy with a truck grab from you…? They grabbed Jack Kennedy from the Democrats! He’s riding around in that truck with Jack Kennedy’s movie saying, ‘I’m like Jack Kennedy.’ How the hell did you guys let him steal your bacon?

AXELROD: Look, I — I — I — I agree with you. As I said, I think we were a little late, duhhh, to recognize, uhh, the potency of his threat, and he was a — a very good, uh, candidate, and he tapped into, uh, a lot of things. The Republican Party is lining up with the banks.

RUSH: Here it comes…

AXELROD: They’re standing with the insurance companies. So they can talk the talk, but when it comes time to walking the walk, they don’t do it, and we’re — I’m — happy to have that contest, uhh, next — uhh, uhh — next November if the president chooses to run in 2012, and we’ll see who the real deal is when it comes to standing up for working people.

RUSH: Yeah, there you go. ‘Standing up for working people’ means unions! ‘Standing up for working people’ in the Democrat Party means unions, and anyplace that’s not unionized be damned. That’s the machine that Scott Brown ran against.

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