Hot-tempered “Hardball” host Chris Matthews abruptly resigned on the air Monday night, telling viewers he was retiring effective immediately after a series of recent on-air gaffes and controversies.
Matthews, 74, a veteran political anchor, steered the popular show on MSNBC for more than 20 years, but began to lose his grip on the program after several embarrassing flubs, including a comparison of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s surging campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to the Nazi invasion of France.
Aides to Sanders, who is Jewish, expressed shock at the analogy.
Matthews also came under fire after an interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) after which the anchor was criticized for exuding a tone which views found condescending.
He also recently misidentified an African American politician.
“Let me start with my headline tonight,” Matthews said at the shows opening. “I’m retiring. This is the last ‘Hardball’ on MSNBC and obviously this isn’t for lack of interest in politics.”