The Democrat governor of Virginia made what appeared to be threatening comments when discussing how he’d perform in a debate against President Donald Trump.
On Thursday night, Gov. Terry McAuliffe suggested during an MSNBC interview that he would punch the president to the point where he would be passed out on the ground, unable to get up, according to Politico.
“You would have to pick him up off the floor,” said McAuliffe when asked by host Chris Matthews how he would handle a debate with Trump.
In response, a giggling Matthews asked to clarify if that entailed “decking” the president, which the outgoing governor did not deny.
“Listen, this guy got in my space, you want to get in my space, I’ve always said, Chris, you punch me, I’m going to punch you back twice as hard. And it wouldn’t be hard to do it. This guy thinks he can intimidate everybody. It’s disgraceful and embarrassing,” McAuliffe replied.
“But I tell you, when we take him on, back in his face with the facts, don’t take anything from him and hit him back as hard as you possibly can.”
The Democrat governor, who officially vacates his office on Saturday, continued with his tough-guy shtick when speaking to the host of “Hardball.”
The conversation turned dark when Matthews brought up Trump’s debate and campaign moves of 2016, having tactfully assigned nicknames to his Republican and Democrat opponents throughout the election.
McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clinton family, took issue with Trump’s tactics during his debate with failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump was accused by the left of lurking too close to her during a debate.
“But 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,” the one-term governor concluded.
The left-wing host was pleased with what he was hearing.
“You sound like an Irish-American politician. Terry McAuliffe, thank you for coming on ‘Hardball’ tonight. What a performance. That will go down — that will go viral, sir, I can tell you,” Matthews said in closing.
The conversation also included talk of the president’s recent alleged comments about immigration, with reports indicating that he said he didn’t want people from “s—hole” countries such as Haiti in lieu of immigrants from places like Norway.
The outgoing governor said Trump sounds like a “lunatic” and is an “embarrassment to the country” for making such remarks.
For his part, the president took to Twitter to deny he made offensive statements about the Haitian people.
The strong rhetoric from McAuliffe comes as many eye his next moves on the national stage, with many Democrat insiders believing he may make a 2020 run for the White House.
In Virginia, state law bars a governor for serving more than one term. Democrat Ralph Northam is set to succeed McAuliffe in office and will be sworn in on Saturday.
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