MSNBC host Chris Matthews, a fixture of the network's political coverage, called Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) "cute" Wednesday for his ability to appeal to various wings of the party, adding that it wasn't a reference to his looks "entirely."
"I think Rubio makes the most sense because he's cute," Matthews said. "I don't mean that in looks entirely, I mean cute. He's able to run both in the defiant wing of the party, what I call the Western Conference. He can run against Carson and Trump for their 50 percent of the vote. He also has a leg or so in the establishment party. He's the only guy that can go both ways. The danger is he slips between the cracks."
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Matthews went on to hit Rubio for missing Senate votes, which has become a hot new criticism of the Florida senator in the last week. He said that issue could hurt him with conservatives, and it could be a potential line of attack by other candidates on the debate stage in Colorado Wednesday night.
It is unclear whether Matthews expressed similar criticism for then-Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.), who missed a large percentage of his votes in 2007, the year he began to campaign for the presidency. Then again, Matthews has not said of Rubio that he gave him a thrill up his leg, that he's "never done anything wrong in his life," and that he might belong on Mt. Rushmore.
Matthews has had all of those reactions to Obama, however, and this is possibly influencing his opinions.