Tulsi Gabbard and Meghan McCain Defend Chris Matthews After His Resignation from MSNBC

In the wake of Chris Matthews' retirement from broadcasting after a series of remarks deemed offensive, both Hawaii Senator Tulsi Gabbard and co-host Meghan McCain of ABC's morning program The View came to Matthews' defense Tuesday.

Criticism had been leveled against Matthews for his comparison of Bernie Sanders' overwhelming victory in February's Nevada caucus to the Nazi invasion of France during World War II.

Observers also called for Matthews' resignation after a February interview with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, in which he implied he did not believe a woman who accused former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg of making sexist remarks.

Matthews hosted the MSNBC program Hardball for two decades before unexpectedly announcing his retirement on air Monday night.

"Let me start with my headline tonight," Matthews said at the beginning of his final broadcast, "I'm retiring. This is the last Hardball on MSNBC and obviously this isn't for lack of interest in politics. As you can tell, I've loved every minute of my 20 years as host of Hardball."

Matthews then addressed the reasons behind his retirement. "A lot of it has to with how we talk to each other, compliments on a woman's appearance that some men—including me—might have once incorrectly thought were okay were never okay," Matthews said. "Not then and certainly not today, and for making such comments in the past, I'm sorry."

Gabbard, a Democratic presidential candidate, wrote Tuesday that Matthews was "never condescending" to her.

"I'm very sorry to hear of your resignation," Gabbard tweeted. "Unfortunately you were 1 of the last—if not THE last—liberals on TV willing to criticize the neocon pro-war agenda. You always treated me w/respect & were never condescending. With aloha, sincerely wishing you the best."

.@HardballChris I’m very sorry to hear of your resignation. Unfortunately you were 1 of the last—if not THE last—liberals on TV willing to criticize the neocon pro-war agenda. You always treated me w/ respect & were never condescending. With aloha, sincerely wishing you the best pic.twitter.com/EA6eKz1YI1

— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 3, 2020

Newsweek reached out to Gabbard for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

tulsi gabbard
Democratic presidential candidate Representative Tulsi Gabbard defended former MSNBC host Chris Matthews Tuesday after his abrupt retirement from broadcasting. Scott Eisen/Getty

Conservative McCain, the daughter of late Arizona Senator John McCain, told her audience that Matthews' show was "one of the few things she could still watch on MSNBC."

"He's a lion of cable news," McCain said. "I grew up watching him. I used to love his Hardball college tours. He's an incredible political broadcaster."

"I love him, and it was one of the few things I could still watch on MSNBC, and to reduce his entire career to this segment yesterday made me really sad because I thought he deserved a better send-off than that, and I thought I might be raked over the coals for saying that today," McCain continued.

"That doesn't mean his behavior should be absolved or he should not apologize and his feet not be held to the fire," McCain added.

"We never heard those comments from Walter Cronkite," said co-host of The View, Joy Behar.

Before beginning his television career, Matthews served as a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter. He was also the Washington Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Examiner.