Chris Matthews and Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann engaged in a feisty sparring contest on MSNBC, with Matthews getting so frustrated with Bachmann that he asked her is she was "hypnotized," and Bachmann's supporters holding up signs mocking the MSNBC host.
Matthews began by referencing Bachmann's notorious appearance on his show during the 2008 election, when she called for "un-American" members of Congress to be investigated.
"Will you use the subpoena power to investigate the Democratic members of Congress for un-Americanism?"
Bachmann dodged the question, saying instead that she wanted to reduce taxes and federal spending. "That's Job One for the United States Congress," she said.
Matthews tried again.
"Who do you want to investigate the Democratic members of Congress for un-American thinking?" he asked.
Again, Bachmann ducked the question, talking about securing the borders and blocking any cap-and-trade policy.
While she spoke, a member of the crowd behind her came into view of the camera, holding a sign that read, "How's The Tingle, Chris?" The sign referenced Matthews' famous comment in 2008 that he "got a thrill up my leg" when listening to a speech by President Obama.
That's when Matthews lost patience.
"Congresswoman Bachmann, are you hypnotized tonight?" he asked. Has someone hypnotized you? Because no matter what I ask you you give the same answer. Are you hypnotized? has someone put you under a trance tonight?"
"We're coming out of our trance, really we're coming out of our nightmare," Bachmann responded. "I think people are thrilled tonight. I imagine that thrill is probably not so tingly on your leg anymore."
After the interview was over, Matthews and his fellow MSNBC panelists reacted to the "How's The Tingle" sign. Rachel Maddow said it was a way for people to charge that MSNBC was "in the tank" for President Obama. Matthews himself stressed that he had never actually used the word "tingle," but that he reacted physically when people, such as Obama, stirred his feelings of patriotism about the United States.
"They're making fun of me, fine, for saying that. I can live with that," he said.
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