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Chris Matthews Jokes About "Thrill Up My Leg" Comment On Leno: "I Report All Senses...I'm A Frickin' American, I Do Have A Reaction To Things"

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John McCain may be using it as fodder for his latest campaign ad, but Chris Matthews isn't backing down from his "thrill up my leg" comment. Monday night on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," Matthews defended his infamous comment about his visceral reaction to a Barack Obama speech.

"You know, some journalists only report what a guy says and what they hear and what they see," Matthews told Leno. "I report all senses."

Matthews then continued, explaining how inspired he was by Obama's speech about race in America, and explaining that his sense of patriotism compels him to respond emotionally to big stories that affect American life:

"I'd rather be honest and say what I feel than sit there like some kind of statue and say, 'Oh that was noteworthy.' I'm a frickin' American. I do have a reaction to things. And I do react emotionally to my country. I care about this country, I wanna look out for it. It's my job. I'm not just some umpire. I take a side: us. That's who I'm rootin' for."

Watch:

From NBC, 7/21