Outgoing Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe talked tough about President Trump on MSNBC Thursday night, fantasizing to an admiring Chris Matthews about punching out the commander-in-chief.
“You would have to pick him up off the floor,” McAuliffe said on "Hardball," as he described what he would do if President Trump ever got in his "space."
“That would be the last time Donald Trump ever did that,” added the longtime Clinton crony who reportedly could be considering a 2020 presidential run.
The talk turned dark after Matthews said Trump can “take people who are level headed, like Jeb Bush, and makes them look weak," and aksed McAuliffe what he would do if Trump attempted to invade his personal space the way he famously hovered over Hillary Clinton during a presidential debate.
Matthews found the comments quite amusing, letting out a smiling gasp before finally getting himself together to say, “You mean you’d deck him.”
Back in 2016, Trump was criticized by the left for standing directly behind Clinton during a town hall style debate. McAuliffe has been a close ally of the Clintons and served as co-chairman of Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign in addition to heading up Hillary’s 2008 campaign. He says he would have reacted differently than his friend did.
“Listen, if this guy got in my space, you wanna get in my space, I’ve always said Chris, you punch me, I’m going to punch back twice as hard. And it wouldn’t be hard to do it, but you know, this guy thinks he could intimidate everybody. It’s disgraceful. It’s embarrassing,” McAuliffe said.
The former governor then reiterated his threat, “If he ever came over and leaned on me and got in my space, that would be the last time Donald Trump ever did that. I promise you that.”
Matthews glowingly responded that McAuliffe “sounds like an Irish-American politician” and complimented his “performance” on the program.
McAuliffe may eventually get his chance to confront Trump, as his name has been mentioned as a potential 2020 Democratic candidate.
Governor-elect Ralph Northam is scheduled to replace McAuliffe as Virginia’s governor on Saturday.