Chris Matthews to Rachel Maddow: 'I've Never Heard of a Country That Didn't Have a Border'

By Mark Judge | November 14, 2016 | 1:37 PM EST

Chris Matthews (AP Photo)

On election night 2016, MSNBC host Chris Matthews defended Donald Trump for running on the issues of anti-war, more jobs, and an end to illegal immigration.

"Trade, immigration and wars, I think he was on the popular side of," Mathews said. "I think the country hates all these wars, the establishment in both parties have been supporting these wars, including Hillary. The fact that we don't have an immigration system that we enforce. Business wants the cheap labor, democrats want the jobs and the votes. Nobody's gotten it together. In terms of trade...just drive through Michigan, drive through Wisconsin, and you'll see places that are hollowed out…Trump said, ‘You know what, I think I can run against this stuff.'"

He added, "It was a legitimate campaign on those issues. I never heard Hillary railing against these stupid wars, I never heard Hillary railing genuinely against these trade deals...I never heard her really come out with a comprehensive immigration program which included enforcement on illegal hiring...sure, she went out and got Latino votes, but did she ever come out for a sound, workable, progressive, enforceable, immigration policy? No."

Matthews was then interrupted by cohost Rachel Maddow, who said that Clinton "did have a comprehensive immigration policy." 

"Where was she on enforcement?" Matthews said.

"She was all for the Obama part of the enforcement," Maddow replied.

"Did she ever campaign on for it?” Mathews retorted. “Did she ever campaign for it? When did she talk about e-verify?

"This is the one issue where she stood up to what people said she had to say to the Latino community,” Maddow said.

Mathews responded, “I listened to this campaign continually and I never heard her come out for the strong elements of the comprehensive immigration program. She thought could get all the Hispanic vote without paying a price. If you have a law that's going to work and enforce it, you have to pay a political price. I never heard her do it. Did she ever say stop illegal hiring in this country? Stop illegal immigration? Did she ever say it?

After some back and forth Matthews said, "I think the country's against illegal immigration. I've never heard of a country that didn’t have a border, didn't have a work permit, and didn't get serious about it. The democrats want the votes...I think that Trump took advantage of it, and I don't think that it's racism."