Perhaps Chris Matthews hasn’t had a showdown quite this good since his contentious 2004 Republican Convention interview with then Sen. Zell Miller. During that exchange, the Georgia Democrat challenged the MSNBC “Hardball” host to a duel.
But on his Tuesday program, Illinois Republican Freshman Rep. Joe Walsh went head-to-head with Matthews about the debt-ceiling debate. That prompted several interesting exchanges between Walsh and Matthews, including one referencing his 2008 comment that President Barack Obama gave him a “thrill” up his leg:
WALSH: Hey, Chris, what’s the president’s plan? Hey Chris, explain…
MATTHEWS: That’s not the point. I pointed out that your party has said the president doesn’t have a plan. Your plan doesn’t have cuts in it. Can you explain that to me?
WALSH: Hey Chris, your president who sends a tingle up your legs — your president…
MATTHEWS: Here we go.
WALSH: … has not been serious in six months. Why do you ignore that, Chris? Why do you ignore that?
MATTHEWS: I think it’s our president. I think it’s our president.
WALSH: He is our president.
MATTHEWS: And most of all, ‘tingle’ is your word. Let’s go on. Let’s go on.
WALSH: He doesn’t send a thrill up my leg, Chris alright, and has not been serious about this debt crisis, and why don’t you jump on that?
Matthews also suggested Walsh should resign if the federal debt ceiling impasse resulted in a crisis. But near the end of the segment, Walsh called Matthews a bully.
“Chris, this is what you do on your show?” Walsh said. “This is what, you bully — this is what you do, you bully guests. Answer me a question. Did the president ignore the debt situation in his State of the Union address?”