05/31/2012 09:22 am ET Updated May 31, 2012

Newt Gingrich: Chris Matthews Is 'Slightly Wacked' (VIDEO)

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Newt Gingrich addressed his wild chat with Chris Matthews on Thursday's "Morning Joe," joking that the MSNBC host is "slightly wacked."

Gingrich recently appeared on "Hardball" for a wide-ranging, fast-paced and colorful exchange. The two men ended things talking about Gingrich's favorite snake, and Matthews expressed his surprise that the answer wasn't the vicious black mamba.

On Thursday, Joe Scarborough kicked off Gingrich's "Morning Joe" appearance by asking about that interview. "So what were you thinking as Chris Matthews came at you 35 miles an hour with all of these questions about reptiles when you were going on there to talk politics?" he wanted to know.

"You know, part of the reason that Chris keeps that show is that he’s slightly wacked," Gingrich joked, cracking up the panel. "And you never quite know where you’re going. Just watch the way he opens the show. You know, 'it’s Hardball,' and he’s off and running. So, my experience being with Chris has been that if you just relax and stay a half step ahead of him, you can survive the performance, and, you know, get back another day."

Gingrich added that they were in his office looking at pictures that Matthews had taken in Africa before the interview. "So [Matthews] has a really genuine interest in animals, although I would not have identified him — as much as I’m a critic, I would not have identified him as a black mamba," he said.



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