WASHINGTON – Chloe Sanders, a twenty year-old undecided voter from Baltimore, was visiting the D.C. area with her family when she was approached by MSNBC producers to appear on Hardball with Chris Matthews. Following is the transcript of her discussion with the host:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Today I’m joined by undecided voter, Chloe Sanders. We’re going to get to the heart of why she can’t make up her mind about the presidential election. Let’s play Hardball!
After a short musical introduction Matthews returns.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: So Chloe, you still haven’t decided on a candidate?
CHLOE: (timidly) No, not really.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Are you a Republican or a Democrat?
CHLOE: I really don’t know.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, lots of people are Independents. Maybe that’s what you are.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: When you think of your country, what’s most important to you?
CHLOE: I don’t …
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Don’t you think the government should do more to help people?
CHLOE: Yeah, I guess.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Give me an example of how the government could do more for its citizens.
CHLOE: Uh, maybe make gas cheaper.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: OK, you think gas prices are too high. Do you blame our black president for high gas prices?
CHLOE: He caused them to be high?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: That’s what Republicans will tell you, but it’s not true. They lie about everything.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Chloe, how do you feel about your reproductive rights?
CHLOE: How do you mean?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well, President Obama feels women should have control over their bodies and Mitt Romney wants to force pregnant women into dark alleys with coat hangers. Which man would you side with on that issue?
CHLOE: Oh, I don’t …
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you have a boyfriend, Chloe?
CHLOE: I’m dating someone.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you use birth control?
CHLOE: (shyly) Yes.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Wouldn’t you like it if your government paid for your birth control?
CHLOE: I guess.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Maybe that’s something you have in common with President Obama.
CHLOE: The government buys his birth control?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Ha! President Obama is a successful African American, he can afford his own birth control, believe me. But he does want to buy yours. Betcha never imagined a black man would buy your birth control, huh?
CHLOE: Well, I never thought …
CHRIS MATTHEWS: But you don’t know for sure? Are you uncomfortable voting for an African American?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: This guy you’re dating, what are you going to do when he knocks you up and then leaves you?
CHLOE: Well I …
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Under a Romney administration you won’t be able to get an abortion, so you’d be stuck with a kid you don’t want. President Obama will help you get rid of the kid and it won’t cost you a dime. Then he’ll give you a job building windmills. It’s a clear choice, Chloe.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Why are you interested in the election?
CHLOE: Well, I keep getting survey phone calls asking who I’m going to vote for. So I feel really pressured to pick somebody.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Do you give a rats ass about the election, Chloe?
CHLOE: (laughing) No.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: So why even talk with survey people? You don’t have to answer the phone.
CHLOE: I know.
CHLOE: I uh…
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Who was secretary of state under Millard Fillmore?
CHLOE: (Stares blankly)
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You get a thrill from all the attention, don’t you?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You like the attention you get by being indecisive. You love all the phone calls and the questions. You get off on having a handsome African American candidate serenade you, trying to win your approval. This is just a big game to you, isn’t it.
CHLOE: No I …
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let’s cut the crap, Chloe, you’re on Hardball now. Here’s how I see it. Every four years you act confused and indecisive so you can feel special. Admit it, you’re an undecided voter because nobody cares about you and you’re lonely.
CHLOE: (looks scared)
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Your phone is ringing off the hook, there’s people knocking on your door. You get invited to rallies and meetings where there’s free coffee and donuts. You’re courted by young men who pretend they like you so you’ll vote for their candidate. And the longer you hold out the harder they try to win your affections. Back when I was your age we had a name for girls like you.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You’re a prick teaser! There, I said it. Somebody had to say it so I said it. And I’ll bet you wouldn’t be so indecisive if it was a white man offering you free abortions, would you?
(Chloe begins to cry)
CHRIS MATTHEWS: (Wide eyed) What’s this? Can’t take the heat? Gettin’ a little too hot in the kitchen for ya? Ha! Welcome to Hardball!
(Chloe is sobbing now)
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh, God. Somebody get her something to wipe her eyes with. We’re done here, Chloe. You might want to rethink the way you feel about African Americans before you come on my show again.
Chloe struggles to untangle herself from her microphone.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh God, she’s going to break the mic! Somebody help the little racist untangle herself. (Matthews looks at the camera) We’re going to take a commercial break and when we come back I’ll be speaking with the brilliant Washington Post columnist, African American Eugene Robinson.
Chloe runs from the studio sobbing.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: (yelling) Obama doesn’t need your vote anyway, Chloe! Don’t believe the polls, we’re doing just fine!