Judging by how he took on Bush campaign advisor Tucker Eskew last nite, apparently Matthews isn't rejecting that vertebrae transplant ...
MATTHEWS: ThereвЂ�s a riff of four or five jokes where he made fun of the fact he couldnвЂ�t find weapons of mass destruction.
Now, the reason I raise this is, we were just over at Walter Reed. There is like almost more than 3,000 seriously injured guys, amputees, the people that fought that war thinking they were protecting this country from weapons of mass destruction. They werenвЂ�t because the guy didnвЂ�t have any weapons of mass destruction.
ESKEW: They did.
MATTHEWS: They did what? They protected us from weapons of mass destruction?
ESKEW: They protected us from Saddam Hussein.
MATTHEWS: But not weapons of mass destruction, which was the case made to them and their families.
ESKEW: It was a case made.
MATTHEWS: A case?
ESKEW: It was a case.
MATTHEWS: What was the other case made before the war?
ESKEW: Oh, come on, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Before the war.
ESKEW: Before the war.
MATTHEWS: To Europe, to the world.
MATTHEWS: When we went to U.N., the case was they, had weapons of mass destruction.
ESKEW: That was a central part of the case. It was at the forefront of the case.
MATTHEWS: Well, itвЂ�s not true.
ESKEW: And it remains at the forefront of the case.
MATTHEWS: It does? How?
ESKEW: Of course it does.
MATTHEWS: How does it still become an issue for the war?
ESKEW: Because I think the president has made clear that we disarmed
a dictator, an evil man who had the capacity
MATTHEWS: Without the weapons, he was just evil. But he wasnвЂ�t a threat to us, was he?
ESKEW: He was the same sort of threat to George W. Bush that John Kerry acknowledged that he was over and over and over again.
MATTHEWS: YouвЂ�re shifting here.
ESKEW: No, IвЂ�m not. I think the case is that the AmericanвЂ”bipartisanвЂ”on a bipartisan basis, the American leadership in this country understood the man.
MATTHEWS: Nice try.
ESKEW: Come on, Chris.
MATTHEWS: When you come up with the evidence, youвЂ�ll have the case made for the war. The case for the war was, they were dangerous to us because they might use nuclear. They might use nuclear. They might use biological or chemical against us. We have a Department of Defense, not offense or war. ItвЂ�s called the Department of Defense.
ESKEW: I think there will be a debate in this campaign about whether or not weвЂ�ll be on offense.
MATTHEWS: If you canвЂ�t show that we went to war to defend this country, you got a problem on your hands.
ESKEW: I can say the president will make the case that we went on offense, not only against terrorists in Afghanistan, but against...
MATTHEWS: Oh, offense. So are we going to call it the Department of Offense now or defense?
ESKEW: Well, weвЂ�re going to fight it as a war. John Kerry has said he wants to fight it as a law enforcement action.
MATTHEWS: So you hold to the argument as a spokesman for the president that the president of the United States was right last night to make fun of the issue of why he went to war?
ESKEW: Listen, you can put it in that context, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Four jokes.
ESKEW: The presidentвЂ”come on. The president has talked about WMD over and over and over again, since David Kay reported and before.
MATTHEWS: Would you have him tell those jokes as he tours the hospitals?
ESKEW: He tours the hospitals an awful lot. He doesnвЂ�t need a lesson in compassion toward the American soldiers, Chris.
MATTHEWS: No, itвЂ�s just he has aвЂ”maybe thereвЂ�s a question here of taste.
ESKEW: I think the president has very good taste.
MATTHEWS: You felt the jokes were right?
ESKEW: ThatвЂ�s self-deprecation, Chris. I think you misinterpret it.
MATTHEWS: So you think the guys who got hurt and killed in this war thought it was funny?
ESKEW: I wouldnвЂ�t say that and I donвЂ�t think you really mean that.
MATTHEWS: I just donвЂ�t think it was funny. I was there last night.
I didnвЂ�t think it was funny.