MATTHEWS: The Republican Party was in office and controlled for a while there both houses, as well as the White House, and you have enjoyed periods during your tenure as a senator when the Republicans had the upper hand. Why didn‘t you take the opportunity when you did to extend health coverage to a larger number of Americans?
HATCH: Well, keep in mind, I think a lot of us wanted to do that. But I‘ve been in the Senate 33 years, we‘ve never had a fiscal conservative majority in the Senate in my whole time, other than through great presidential leadership, Reagan, Bush I, Bush II. Even Clinton from time to time would do some fiscally conservative things. But we never really had the votes to really do what would really be a health reform bill that I think would work.
Putting aside the fact that if they had any interest whatsoever in passing a health bill, they could have, but my favorite part there is how he calls Reagan, Bush 1, and Bush 2 “fiscal conservatives.” Maybe people’s memories have faded enough that he could slip Reagan and Bush 1 in there, but Bush 2 a fiscal conservative? How did he not burst out into laughter? And how did Matthews not throw something at him?