Chris Matthews despises many conservatives, but saves some of his most vitriolic comments for Newt Gingrich. On Wednesday's Hardball, he slammed the Republican presidential candidate as "demonic."
Discussing Gingrich's debate answer to a question on health care, Matthews trashed, "You know, the demonic aspect of the person of Newt Gingrich– and I do mean that– he speaks with a forked tongue where you see both forks at the same time."
What prompted this outburst? An argument between the former Speaker and Mitt Romney during Tuesday's debate over whether the ex-Massachusetts governor got the idea for an individual mandate from Gingrich.
On May 12, 2011 , Matthews shrieked that the "shameless" and "nasty" Gingrich robs "joy and humanity" from people.
He frothed, "I cannot believe there are young Republicans idealists out there, young people with hope who want our country to be good and have good politics to want to resurrect this element of Freddy Krueger, Nightmare on Elm Street politics."
On March 2, 2011 , the anchor raged that the Republican looks like a "car bomber" who "loves torturing."
On June 10, 2011 , Matthews excoriated Gingrich as "evil" and looking like "the Devil."
A transcript of the October 19 exchange follows:
NEWT GINGRICH: So, there's a lot of big government behind Romneycare, not as much as Obamacare. But, a heck of a lot more than your campaign is admitting.
MITT ROMNEY: Actually, Newt, we got the idea of an individual mandate from you.
GINGRICH: That's not true. You got it from the Heritage Foundation.
ROMNEY: Yeah. We got it from you and the Heritage foundation and from you.
GINGRICH: What you just said is not true. You did not get that from me. You got that from the Heritage Foundation.
ROMNEY: And you've never supported-
GINGRICH: I agree with them. But, I'm just saying, what you said to this audience just now, plain wasn't true. That's not where you got it from.
ROMNEY: Have you supported in the past an individual mandate?
GINGRICH: I absolutely did, with the Heritage foundation against Hillarycare.
ROMNEY: You did support-
GINGRICH: Yes, sir.
ROMNEY: We got the idea from you and the Heritage Foundation.
GINGRICH: Okay, that's a little broader.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: You know, the demonic aspect of the person of Newt Gingrich, and I do mean that. He speaks with a forked tongue where you see both forks at the same time. He said two opposite things. I agree with Heritage, I did not agree with Heritage. I forget the other. That was the wrong order. First he said he was not part of it and then he said he agreed with Heritage, having just denied it.
— Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here  to follow him on Twitter.