Check out The Temple News’ exclusive video coverage as well as the print edition of the article. Talk-show host Chris Matthews came to Main Campus as part of a U.S. college tour.
Video by Nara Allen, Luis Roriguez, and Saba Aregai.
On Oct. 21, hundreds of people gathered along Liacouras Walk to watch a live taping of MSNBC’s show “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”
As part of a nationwide college tour, host Chris Matthews’ visit to Main Campus came just a couple weeks before the midterm elections on Nov. 2.
“It’s a good student body,” Matthews told The Temple News. “[Temple] isn’t just a Philly school. There are students from all over the world here.”
The crowd of on-lookers – made up of students, faculty, political groups and members of the press – began to collect several hours before the show was scheduled to start.
Matthews appeared approximately one hour before the show was scheduled to begin. Without a jacket, he was visibly cold but walked among the spectators, posing for photos, answering questions from media and greeting university students.
“It’s great to be at Temple,” Matthews said. “It’s a great fall day – it’s brisk.”
Matthews was born in Philadelphia and attended La Salle College High School, a Catholic school just outside the city, in Wyndmoor, Pa.
“This is where it all began,” Matthews said. “I know the area very well. We always came to my grandfather’s house in Hunting Park right up the road.”
Alexandria Crispino, a junior public relations major who was in the crowd, said she was excited to see Matthews up close and be a part of the politically charged audience.
“I love Matthews. I think he gets down to it,” Crispino said. “Politicians like to beat around the bush, but he’s not afraid to ask them questions and get the answers on his show.”
After he answered a few questions from local media, Matthews talked to the Temple cheerleaders and band for a few minutes, joking around and encouraging them to vote Nov. 2.
“What are you going to play? I expected to hear a little ‘Philadelphia Freedom,’” he said.
Ricky Hanson, a freshman business major and member of the band, said it was an exciting experience to talk with Matthews.
“I am a Republican, so I don’t necessarily support him, but I think it’s great that he came to campus,” Hanson said. “For a guy on MSNBC to come over here and tell us he used to play the French horn in college is pretty cool.”
The crowd and security grew throughout the night, as Gov. Ed Rendell and Democratic Senate nominee Congressman Joe Sestak made appearances on Matthews’ show. The show touched on some hot topics, such as Delaware’s Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell’s recent interviews with various media outlets.
The show continued with several other high-profile guests, such as former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, whose son, Marc Mezvinsky, married Chelsea Clinton in July.
Throughout the taping, Matthews reiterated the importance of college students voting.
“The youth made a huge impact in the last election. And they will again this election,” he said. “I keep telling people how important this election is. Democrats who are elected this time around will be in office for years and years to come.”
“But, there will also be a lot of Democrats giving concession speeches on election night,” he added.
Matthews expressed the satisfaction he feels when he places his vote.
“I feel good when I vote,” he said. “I feel like I’m a part of something.”
Matthews continued to meet with spectators after the show’s taping wrapped and finally waved goodbye.
Crispino said she was happy to see so many Temple students appear at the event, adding that she hopes they understood the significance of what they participated in.
“I hope those people who were holding signs know who they’re voting for,” Crispino said, “and know why they’re here.”
Matt Finn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.