NBC’s Chris Matthews (“HardBall with Chris Matthews,” “The Chris Matthews Show”), who is considering a run for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, visited the Keystone State’s delegation meeting this morning and we had this brief, lighted-hearted discussion.
MS: You’re running for Senate in Pennsylvania. As you know there are some very important issues going on. We have a Republican in that seat, [Sen. Arlen] Specter, who voted two ways on the Defense of Marriage Act. So what would you be doing?
CM: Well, first I’m not going to answer it that way. I always start with freedom. That’s where I start on every issue, whether it’s reproductive rights or it’s crime. There’s a constitutional right that starts with freedom and inherent rights, exclusive rights to the Constitution. But I really do believe that we always as Americans start with that. Then we work our way through things. Do you understand? It’s very important. Individual freedom has always been the way we start. First governments, sequestered governments like in England, always start with state power. This country has always started with individual freedom as the basis to work at what you do allow the state to do. But obviously, this is an evolving thing; my thinking now is different from what it was 10 years ago. [For] a lot of people it’s been evolving, and for a lot of gay people it’s been evolving. A lot of gay people didn’t think marriage was going to be the issue. A lot of friends of mine didn’t think it was going to be an issue, because it was too far out. A lot of people are changing on these issues. I think a lot of people are going to work our way through these things.
MS: Well, where are you on the issue?
CM: I have an open heart. I’ll have to live with it.
MS: In other words, you won’t answer the question.
CM: I can answer it the way I have, which is any f***ing way I want. I can answer in my way even if it isn’t your way.