Chris Matthews: "Do You Like The Leadership Of This Country or Not?" Will Ring Through Election Booths

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Chris Matthews is asked what working-class voters thinks about Donald Trump and explains the "patriotic feelings" Trump elicits. Matthews said Americans feel that the elites have betrayed the country and the country itself has let them down.

"A lot of this support for Trump with all his flaws which he displays regularly is about the country. Patriotic feelings people have," Matthews said Friday. "They feel the country has been let down. They feel that our elite leaders on issues like immigration, they don't regulate any immigration it seems, they don't regulate trade to our advantage, to the working man's or working woman's advantage, they take us into stupid wars. Their kids don't fight but our kids do. It's patriotic. They believe in their country."

"Hillary is the symbol of the establishment," Matthews described the view of Trump supporters. "She is the symbol of the way things are headed... and they don't like that. They are trying to ring the bell and say, 'No!' And Trump is the only way to ring it."

Matthews said the question in front of people when they vote will be "do you like the leadership of this country or don't you?"

"[Miss America] Machado has nothing to do with what I just said. It's a totally immoral distraction from this whole thing because it takes away from a serious question in front of the American people: Do you like the leadership of this country or don't you? And that should be the question that rings through the election booths," Matthews said.

From Friday's broadcast of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: A lot of this support for Trump with all his flaws which he displays regularly is about the country. Patriotic feelings people have. They feel the country has been let down. They feel that our elite leaders on issues like immigration, they don't regulate any immigration it seems, they don't regulate trade to our advantage, to the working man's or working woman's advantage, they take us into stupid wars. Their kids don't fight but our kids do. It's patriotic. They believe in their country.

When I was a Capitol policeman, I worked with an old guy named Leroy Taylor, a country boy from West Virginia, a guy that had been in the military, he'd been a MP. He pulled me aside, a college kid... he said, 'Let me tell you why the little man loves this country-- because it's always God.' And there's a deep sense of the country has been taken away and betrayed. And I think that is so deep with people that they are looking at a guy that is flawed as hell like Trump. And at least it is a way of saying I am really angry about the way the elite has treated my country. And it is so deep it overwhelms all the bad stuff from Trump. It is that strong. It's a strong force, a wind of anger about the way the country has been betrayed.

They think he has a great sensory nerve that knows what works with people. He may not care for a second when he goes to bed at night, if he does go to bed at night, about immigration. He may not care about trade at all. He may not care about these stupid wars because his record is very mixed on that to say the least but he knows that the average guy out there, the average joe, the regular guy and woman, is very angry about the way this country -- and Hillary is the symbol of the establishment. She is the symbol of the way things are headed... and they don't like that. They are trying to ring the bell and say, 'No!' And Trump is the only way to ring it... If Trump is even smart enough to know this, it would be really dangerous.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: But what if he continues to double down on things like [Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado]?

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Irrelevant. Machado has nothing to do with what I just said. It's a totally immoral perhaps distraction from this whole thing because it takes away from a serious question in front of the American people: Do you like the leadership of this country or don't you? And that should be the question that rings through the election booths....

JOE SCARBOROUGH: If we're talking about what's going to impact a race, and you look at past being prologue after Khan, after Khan, look at Colorado. Trump drew even in Colorado. He drew close to being even in Virginia. Which means there is a constant reset, Chris Matthews. A constant reset to make people say we're offended by him. We can't vote for him. There's no way. It's just never going to happen. And then they go back to the reset, which is what you're talking about. Change, change, change.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: The force is so strong.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: The call for change obviously is more powerful than everybody being offended.

CHRIS MATTHEWS: And it's a particular kind of change. It is America first. It is looking out for our country instead of getting involved in stupid Middle East wars that have never made us stronger. Trade deals that seem to have hallowed out most of the Midwest and Northeast. If you go to Scranton you know what the average parent up there thinks? I want my kids to stay here. I don't want them to travel away beyond driving distance to get a job. They just want their kids to come home for weekends or sometime. They're losing what they had. They like Social Security. The like Medicare. They're not right wingers. They like the America they had and want to hold onto that. Trump says I can give it back.

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