“Hardball” anchor Chris Matthews surprised his MSNBC colleagues during a broadcast before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night with the announcement that Obama is planning a special speech to address gun-control regulation. Matthews revealed the plan during a discussion that centered on why a prepared copy of Obama’s speech did not contain any mention of gun control.
Both Lawrence O’Donnell, host of “The Last Word,” and MSNBC TV host Rachel Maddow found the omission odd, considering the Arizona shootings and a recent clamor to reinstate the ban on high-capacity magazines like the one shooter Jared Loughner used in the Tucson fusillade that killed six and injured 19, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.
“There is going to be a special presidential address on gun control,” Matthews said, without revealing how he received the information. “It has not been scheduled yet, but there is going to be one in the near future. So he is not overlooking it but I think they must have made a tactical decision that it would [become] the headline tonight and they are looking for an economic-jobs headline tonight. You can take it from me.
“With a lot of the country, it is the issue. It makes no sense to some people in the suburbs and in the cities and perhaps some places in the rural areas. But in other areas, in western Pennsylvania, guns are it,” Matthews said. “I don’t think he wanted to depress the news that he is trying to make about jobs tonight.”
The announcement of Obama’s speech came as Democrats in the House and the Senate introduced legislation that would ban the possession or sale of high-capacity magazines.
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