A talking-points memorandum being circulated by Democrats to friendly media outlets attacks Judge Samuel Alito on the basis of his Italian heritage.
Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch stormed Monday night that the memo was "despicable" and a sign that desperate Democrats are "hysterical" over the Alito nomination.
Hatch made the comments on MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews.
Matthews alleged that Democrats are passing around a memorandum that he called a "complaint sheet" about Alito.
The cable talk show host said the lead item in the memo claims that as a federal prosecutor, Alito failed to convict members of the Lucchese crime family in a 1988 case.
The implication is that because Alito is Italian-American he went easy on the prosecution, or worse.
An obviously angry Matthews said, "I'm sitting here holding in my hands a pretty disgusting document. This is put out not for attribution, but it comes from the Democrats. They're circulating it; I can say that. The first thing they nail about this Italian-American is he failed to win a mob conviction in a trial ... way back in '88. In other words, they nail him on not putting some Italian mobsters in jail from the family. Why would they bring up this ethnically charged issue as the first item they raise against Judge Alito?
"This is either a very bad coincidence or very bad politics," he added, and warned Democrats that their sneak attack will backfire. "Either way it's going to hurt them. ... Not abortion rights, not civil rights but that he failed to nail some mobsters in 1988 -- this is the top of their list of what they've got against this guy. Amazingly bad politics."
The memo failed to note that Alito won a major prosecution against the Genovese crime family.
Remember, Chris Matthews is a Democrat.