07/11/2011 08:23 am ET | Updated Sep 10, 2011

Chris Matthews: Michele Bachmann Has 'Powerful' Connection With GOP Base (VIDEO)

Chris Matthews had some surprisingly positive things to say about Michele Bachmann on his syndicated Sunday show.

Bachmann's tussles with Matthews have been the stuff of cable news legend. Most famously, she got into hot water in 2008, when she told him members of Congress should be investigated for un-American leanings. The two also had a feisty exchange on the night of the 2010 elections, when Matthews asked Bachmann if she was "hypnotized," and she returned fire. He has also mocked and derided her frequently.

However, on Sunday, Matthews praised Bachmann for being in touch with the GOP's conservative base, and said she had a "powerful" connection with "regular people."

"I wonder whether cerebral writers like George Will and David Brooks, bright people, are not really in tune with that base out there that she is," he said.

When guest Clarence Page compared Bachmann unfavorably to Barry Goldwater, Matthews cut in. "He won the nomination," he pointed out.

Watch the video above (via Mediaite).