Hardball's Chris Matthews will be co-moderating tonight's Republican debate with CNBC's Maria Bartiromo (live from the great state of Michigan) but many have called for Matthews to recuse himself from his role due to recent comments Matthews made at an anniversary party celebrating Hardball's 10th anniversary. Matthews went hard after the Bush administration and the "criminality" of conduct by Vice President Cheney.
"They've finally been caught in their criminality," Matthews continued, although he did not specify the exact criminal behavior to which he referred. He then drew an obvious Bush-Nixon parallel by saying, “Spiro Agnew was not an American hero."
Matthews left the throng of Washington A-listers with a parting shot at Cheney: “God help us if we had Cheney during the Cuban missile crisis. We’d all be under a parking lot.”
Matthews defended himself on Morning Joe this morning, in an interview previewing the debate, saying that he has been tough on both Republican and Democratic administrations during his media career and that tonight's debate should not be about him, but about the Republican candidates, one of whom may be the next leader of this country.