If MSNBC was looking to spice up its afternoon lineup, it may have found its answer in former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The notoriously grandiose Republican went up against the network’s notoriously grandiose Hardball host Chris Matthews today, and the result was 19 minutes of thoroughly entertaining political cable news television.
Gingrich took Matthews’ liberal browbeating good-naturedly, even letting the host coax him into calling Mitt Romney a liar. In fact, both men appeared to thoroughly enjoy their sparring match, which bounced around from birtherism to George Washington’s money to food stamps, before ending in a serious heart-to-heart about snakes. Seriously.
Watch the interview below:
Here are some of the highlights, via the MSBC transcript:
On Gingrich’s role at the convention:
GINGRICH: Yes. I will take whatever Romney thinks will help him win.
MATTHEWS: You’re just a supplicant now. You’re just a humble…
GINGRICH: I’m not a supplicant, I’m a team player.
MATTHEWS: A team player?
GINGRICH: I started my career as a team player.
MATTHEWS: You know, when you smile, I see what you are!
MATTHEWS: Why do some people in your party keep pushing that he’s not an American?
GINGRICH: Beats me.
MATTHEWS: Thank you.
MATTHEWS: Best — best animal, favourite animal to go watch?
GINGRICH: favourite animal to go watch? Hard to say. Maybe elephants.
MATTHEWS: That’s me, too. Me, too.
GINGRICH: They’re amazing.
MATTHEWS: I’m with elephants.
GINGRICH: They’re just remarkable.
MATTHEWS: Yes. I’ll show you in the picture in the office here. Let me — do you like the reptile house?
MATTHEWS: favourite snake?
GINGRICH: Probably a python.
MATTHEWS: Why? A constrictor, right?
GINGRICH: Big and passive.
GINGRICH: Yes. It’s…
MATTHEWS: You like the constrictor aspect of it?
GINGRICH: No, I just think they’re very…
MATTHEWS: You like that it eats cows whole?
GINGRICH: They don’t eat cows whole.
MATTHEWS: What about a mamba? I would have thought you would like a black mamba. They go 30 miles an hour. They attack your nervous system. You have got 15 minutes to live. They attack like this and they keep attacking.
GINGRICH: You have a more ruthless approach to politics than I do.
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