WASHINGTON – During his visit with with Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, President Obama responded to the host’s hard hitting questions and in-depth scrutiny with surprising candor. Following is a transcript of Chris Matthew’s interview with President Obama.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: President Obama, such a pleasure to to be speaking with you today.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: The pleasure is all mine, Chris.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Is it really or are you just saying that?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Nope, I’m not just saying it. It really is a pleasure to be here.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You mean to be here at MSNBC studios or here with me?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I’m uh, happy to….
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I don’t mean to put you on the spot, Your Eminence, but …
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please, Chris, call me President.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It’s OK, Chris
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Sheesh! I’m just so, I don’t even know how to describe my feelings. Ha! Look at me, I’m flush! Ha! And my heart is fluttering all over the place and my loin – God, my loin!
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Settle down Chris. Now, what was it you wanted to ask me.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I’m so sorry Mr. President. Please, forgive me…
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Please, Chris, the interview.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You’re right, Mr. President. OK, where was I? (clears throat) Oh, I know – what about those Republicans booing the gay soldier? Can you believe that?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Like I’ve said on several talk shows, Chris, I was appalled at the smallness of the Republican candidates who said nothing when their audience booed that gay soldier.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: It was small, wasn’t it. Small… what a perfect word, sir.
Chris Matthews and President Obama smiled at each other for several seconds.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Boy did it ever! (Obama leans towards Chris Matthews and they exchange an exuberant high-five)
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Well! Obviously you’re quite excited!
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know, Chris, I didn’t expect killing militant Muslims to be so much fun!
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Ha Ha! Mr. President!
Matthews and Obama exchange another high-five.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Just to clarify for our audience, I doubt if you mean that it’s fun to kill Muslims…
PRESIDENT OBAMA: It’s fun to kill militant Muslims, Chris. The bad kind. The nut-bags. The freaks. The bottom feeders. The …
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Sir, I’m sure that you’re proud of our military’s heroic efforts in eliminating our enemies.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Of course, Chris. I want to give due credit to our men and women in uniform, be they gay or straight, bisexual or transgender, legal or illegal. But this was a drone mission carried out because I gave the order. Anwar al-Awlaki ended up a gnarled, steaming lump of shredded meat because of my orders, Chris, and I’m going to keep issuing those kinds of orders.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Your orders, I’m confident, are backed by stringent guidelines of protocol and intelligence analysis…
PRESIDENT OBAMA: My orders are backed with eagerness and an insatiable hunger, Chris. I mean, I’m chomping at the proverbial bit to keep blowing these guys away.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Ha! The proverbial bit! So you’re not kidding about it being fun?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Mr. President, what would your message be to the millions of peace loving, law abiding Muslims throughout the world?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Live your lives like you normally do. But if you hear the sound of an airplane – you might want to get under a bed or stand in a doorway because if it’s a drone – the sh*t is gonna hit the fan!
CHRIS MATTHEWS: (puts his hand over his mouth) Mister President!
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You didn’t know what a bad ass I was, huh Chris?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: I, uh….you caught me off guard, your Holiness. I mean, I knew you were tough. I’ve seen the photos of you frolicking in the beach, the glistening sea water rolling off your chiseled torso, your rock hard abs….
PRESIDENT OBAMA: You’re feelin’ the thrill, ain’t ya Chris?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh God!
President Obama reaches over and slaps Chris Matthews on his knee.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Oh, Barry!
Chris Matthew’s eyes rolled back into his head and his body began to twitch. Studio personnel rushed to his aid and just minutes later Matthews was smoking a cigarette and assuring everyone that he was OK. President Obama tousled Matthew’s hair and wished him well before leaving the studio.