For as many times as MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews has come under fire for saying some truly unfortunate lines, one would assume he’d think more carefully about the words that leave his mouth. And yet, in an interview with California senator Kamala Harris following Attorney General William Barr’s testimony, clearly keen to compare executive privilege to something, Matthews picked … virginity.
Matthews’s interview with the presidential candidate came hours after Barr’s testimony, during which Barr brought up Trump’s ability to invoke executive privilege. It was here that Matthews delivered the metaphor: “I think it is sort of like virginity, kinda.”
“Once you’ve given it up you can’t grab it back,” he continued, before asking Harris, “How do you see it?”
Harris, who had been grimacing through the entire comparison, simply replied, “I’m not gonna go with you on that metaphor, Chris.”
This is far from the first time Matthews has delivered an unfortunate line in or before an interview. More than a decade ago, he told CNBC host Erin Burnett that she was “beautiful” and “a knockout” during a discussion of financial news. And, in exclusive footage obtained by the Cut last year, Matthews joked about slipping then–presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a “Cosby pill” before interviewing her in 2016.
A few minutes later, after seemingly being chastised by a producer, the MSNBC host apologized. “I’m sorry about that metaphor I used before,” he said on air. “I’ve been admonished already about it. So I really shouldn’t have used it in this context, however.”
Wait … so does he think a virginity metaphor would be appropriate in other contexts?