Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Commitee, says Obama is "throwing the bird up in the air to pretty much everybody in this town" with his recent decision regarding Cuba and possible executive action regarding Guantanamo Bay.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HARDBALL: Do you think this is willful? Is this some sort of psychological, I'm going down with my boots on kind of thing? iImay not be able to win them all, but I'm going to go down shooting?
MICHAEL STEELE: I think this is the president is basically throwing the bird up in the air to pretty much everybody in this town and saying, you know, what
MATTHEWS: Do you think this is offensive?
STEELE: No, I don't think it's offensive.
MATTHEWS: THAT'S the way you put it that I think -- have you ever had that and not been offensive? Rahm emanuel was known for that pretty well when he was chief of staff.
STEELE: I think in his own way, in his very subtle, you know, kind of educated, professorial way, he's basically saying, I'm just going to do this. I'm going to set out and do what I want to do. So you start with the immigration piece, you come back with Cuba, the following week, which links into the immigration piece, ties into Gitmo and some other things.
So, I think the president is just finding a space where he's comfortable, and has figured out that this town will never work with him, it will never work for him, and therefore he's just going to do his thing and let the chips fall where they may. And I think there's some fallout from that and I hope he's prepared for that. But I think he's got this comfort now of doing what he wants to do.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well if I'm Jon Meacham, or Walter Isaacson, or somebody writing history, this guy may be me, I'll be writing down the things he's done the last couple of weeks. Because they belong in the Encyclopedia Britannica or Wikipedia or whatever the hell you put it. This thing with Castro's, and he's still there. This is big stuff. I was thinking, how much of this is history.
Because I'm thinking, he's a young guy, he's going to be around a long time after the White House, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's thinking now, I want to be known as the guy who did certain things. Maybe for the left, maybe for everybody, maybe for certain groups like the Hispanics, but I want to have stuff done. It isn't to screw his opponents are making fun of them, but to get something done positively.