MSNBC host Chris Matthews denounced several notable Clinton allies on Monday, calling them "fanatics," "pumas," and "bullies" who will attempt to destroy Vice President Joe Biden if he enters the Democratic race for president.
Matthews singled out Media Matters for America founder David Brock and informal adviser Sidney Blumenthal as individuals who would sling mud at Biden.
"Is he [Biden] ready for the really tough, negative people out there—David Brock will be for Hillary, Sid Blumenthal will be for Hillary—, the pumas who are really for Hillary, the fanatics who will dirt ball him from now until whenever he leaves the race?" Matthews said.
"Is he ready for the assault he will face if he goes against Hillary from her people?" Matthews added.
"It will be massive," Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson said.
"They'll try to destroy him," Matthews said.
Later in the segment, Matthews seemed to imply that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was a "bully" who might try to pressure Biden out of the race.
Clinton and her proxies have long been known for their willingness to sling mud at threatening challengers. Clinton's 2016 presidential bid is no different.
At last week's debate, Clinton launched an unsubtle attack against a candidate who has vowed not to fight back, Bernie Sanders. Brock, meanwhile, has prepared a massive opposition research file on Biden that can be fed to reporters in the event he enters the race.
Proxies like Brock have not let facts get in the way of their attacks on Clinton's myriad foes. The Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this month that Brock mischaracterized an encounter between Clinton and libertarian megadonor Charles Koch, in a likely effort to paint Koch in a negative light.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Is he ready for the dirt ball coming his way? Is he ready for the really tough, negative people out there—David Brock will be for Hillary, Sid Blumenthal will be for Hillary—, the pumas who are really for Hillary, the fanatics who will dirt ball him from now until whenever he leaves the race?
SUSAN PAGE: It's a much meaner race than the last time he ran for president, right? Running for vice president is different. The last time he ran for president—
MATTHEWS: Is he ready for the assault he will face if he goes against Hillary from her people?
EUGENE ROBERTSON: It will be massive.
MATTHEWS: They'll try to destroy him.
ROBERTSON: How does he position himself on issues? To the right of Clinton, to the left of Clinton? He doesn't have a lot of room.
MATTHEWS: Biden is waiting, but his supporters aren't. After a well-received debate performance, Hillary Clinton has expanded her lead. She's up six points since last month while Biden is down five. It's Clinton 48 percent, Sanders 21 percent and Biden 17 percent. A new CNN poll says she is up 3 percent, he is down 4 percent. This is what somebody says about him: he really does not care about John Podesta, that's the chairman of the Clinton campaign, or anybody else. He does not like bullies, and he will not be bullied. He has never really been part of the Democratic establishment and could care less about it. He doesn't feel like he is part of the inside crowd here. I think he isn't listening to people who say he shouldn't run. I don't think he cares what Podesta says.