MSNBC host Chris Matthews said "things happen" Thursday during a discussion of the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, the subject of the testimony of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her handling of the event.
Matthews praised Ambassador Chris Stevens, one of the four killed in the assault, for being a Peace Corps volunteer "like me," saying he was a "good guy" and a "gutsy guy" with a career in foreign service culminating in becoming the U.S. ambassador to Libya. He then said that the circumstances surrounding the attack needed to be taken into account.
"You take risks in this world, and going out to an outpost with just five security people there ... Really, almost a mile from the nearest CIA station," Matthews said. "There was no real troops around him, but see, he knew all that. I think he said my vibes are good, I've got a good sense of the situation. And, you know, things happen. Horrible things happen, especially in a country without a real government. I think we have to put all that into perspective."
Matthews' wording called to mind former Gov. Jeb Bush's out-of-context statement regarding a school shooting in Oregon that "stuff happens," which the media widely reported as a heartless response to another gun tragedy. Bush was actually referring to crises in general that whoever is in office must handle.
It remains to be seen whether Matthews' statement, which was actually in direct reference to Benghazi, will draw similar outrage. Matthews has also previously referred to Benghazi and the subsequent investigation as "this thing called Benghazi."