Matthews ➠ Critics ‘Trying To Hang’ Baltimore Mayor For ‘Destroy’ Comments

Matthews ➠ Critics 'Trying To Hang' Baltimore Mayor For 'Destroy' Comments

Matthews: Critics ‘Trying to Hang’ Baltimore Mayor for ‘Destroy’ Comments

According to Hardball host Chris Matthews, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is the victim of opportunistic critics “trying to hang” Baltimore’s Democratic mayor for her now-infamous statement in which she said that her city’s police force tried to give rioters “space” within which they could “destroy” stuff.

Matthews made the remark tonight while discussing the riots with NBC News reporter Brian Mooar, who was reported via telephone from Baltimore. Here’s the relevant transcript:

CHRIS MATTHEWS What about the mayor’s position? What did you make of her comment about, she was going to separate the crowds from the people at Camden Yards for the Orioles’ game Saturday, from the people who wanted an area — an area to destroy. That got some bad spin to it. 

BRIAN MOOAR:  I can’t believe that that’s what she meant to say, but that’s what she said.

MATTHEWS: I hope, I don’t think she did. I think she meant she was trying to control this — I know what they’re doing to her: they’re trying to hang her with this thing.

MOOAR: Well, she meant she was trying to give people a chance — I believe that what she was trying to do was give people a chance. It worked well on Saturday. You saw a huge throng of people out there protesting. A couple of troublemakers, some isolated incidents of violence. And what did you see in almost every circumstance? Members of that protest group coming in and say, hey, don’t give them an excuse to beat you up, to tear gas you, to shoot you. This is not what we’re about. They were policing themselves. And I wonder if that’s what police weren’t trying to do today, hoping that the community would stop this…

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